Brett Wortman

National pollen count not to be sneezed at, say experts

AS HAY fever sufferers reach for the tissues and nasal sprays, allergy experts have called for a national pollen count to help people treat the irritation.

Professor Jo Douglass from the Royal Melbourne Hospital said a national count would help allergy experts issue pollen alerts for hay fever sufferers.

She said such a count would give an indicator of grass pollen levels for all cities in Australia, as such levels were not currently reported nationwide.

"A national pollen count would help specialists provide a more accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment for people suffering from hay fever," she said.

"The symptoms of hay fever can be as basic as sneezing, watery eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy ears and nose and throat.

"But in some cases, the symptoms can be so severe that a person can't sleep or concentrate, and may feel tired or unwell."

The count could help people avoid situations where they would be exposed to high levels of pollen, avoiding irritating their allergies.