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Through the Seasons: Understanding Different Allergy Causes

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What is Allergy Season?

Allergy season is a perpetual cycle that brings various challenges depending on the time of year. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is also called hay fever. Although in the name, having a fever or being around hay isn't necessary for this condition. It comes from an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds.

You will show hay fever symptoms soon after pollen comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat.

At LloydsPharmacy, we recognise the importance of understanding the diverse causes of allergies throughout the seasons. Symptoms of hay fever typically worsen from late March to September. The pollen count peaks during warm, humid, and windy weather. Here we explore the different allergens that may be triggering your symptoms and discover strategies to manage them effectively.

Spring Allergies:

  • Tree Pollen:
    • Trees such as birch, oak, and maple release pollen in spring.
    • Symptoms may include sneezing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Grass Pollen:
    • Late spring introduces grass pollen allergies.
    • Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, and itchy red eyes.
  • Mould Spores:
    • Damp conditions promote mould growth.
    • Mould spores can cause allergy symptoms similar to pollen.

Summer Allergies:

  • Grass Pollen Continues:
    • Grass pollen remains prevalent, causing ongoing symptoms.
    • Outdoor activities may trigger allergies.
  • Mould Spores Persist:
    • High humidity contributes to continued mould spore exposure.
    • Symptoms may include nasal congestion and respiratory issues.
  • Weed Pollen:
    • Late summer introduces weed pollen, affecting those sensitive to ragweed and other weeds.

Autumn Allergies:

  • Ragweed Pollen:
    • Ragweed is a common autumn allergen.
    • Symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat.
  • Mould Spores Continue:
    • Fallen leaves create a breeding ground for mould.
    • Mould spores can persist into the fall.
  • Indoor Allergens:
    • Spending more time indoors exposes individuals to indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and indoor moulds.

Winter Allergies:

  • Indoor Allergens Persist:
    • Reduced ventilation in winter may increase exposure to indoor allergens.
    • Dust mites and pet dander can trigger symptoms.
  • Mould in Indoor Environments:
    • Poorly ventilated areas can harbour mould, leading to allergies.
    • Symptoms may include nasal congestion and throat irritation.


Managing Seasonal Allergies:

To alleviate hay fever symptoms, consider the following tips:


  • Check the daily pollen forecast at Met Éireann.
  • Identify specific allergens affecting you during each season.
  • Minimise exposure to known allergy triggers.
  • Apply Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses during pollen season to shield your eyes from pollen.
  • Shower and change clothes after outdoor activities to remove pollen.
  • Stay indoors or plan indoor activities for children during high pollen counts.
  • Keep windows and doors closed when pollen levels are elevated.
  • Use air purifiers and maintain good indoor hygiene.
  • Be aware that pets can bring pollen indoors.


  • Cut grass or walk on grass.
  • Keep fresh flowers in the house.
  • Smoke or expose yourself to smoke, as it worsens symptoms.
  • Dry clothes outside, as this can trap pollen.

Visit your pharmacist:

If you're experiencing hay fever, it's advisable to consult your pharmacist for guidance. They can offer advice and recommend the most effective treatments to help manage your symptoms. Treatment options may include antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays.

These treatments can be beneficial for helping to alleviate symptoms such as:

  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • A blocked nose

If you have a child with hay fever, ask your pharmacist about suitable antihistamines, some may cause drowsiness.

Understanding the seasonal variation in allergy causes is crucial for effective management. At LloydsPharmacy, we are committed to providing you with the knowledge and products needed to navigate allergy seasons successfully. Visit us for expert guidance on conquering seasonal allergies and enjoying a healthier, symptom-free life.