13 May, 2024 @ 13:13
1 min read

Hayfever warning in Spain: Pollen count will remain high across Andalucia until at least June – as experts issue advice to allergy sufferers

ILLUSTRATION - A woman uses a tissue near male hazel catkins (Corylus avellana) in Dresden, Germany, 04 March 2014. The hazel blooms from February to March, but due to the mild temperatures hayfever season is starting earlier this year. In particular, hazel and alder pollen cause problems for people who suffer from allergies, because they bloom early. Photo: Arno Burgi

EXPERTS have issued a warning to hayfever sufferers in Andalucia, as they predict pollen count will remain high until at least June. 

The Spanish Aerobiology Network (REA) has revealed the next couple of months could be even more difficult than normal for those with hayfever. 

In Andalucia, 25% of people suffer the condition, around 2.5 million people. 

Most of the time, the pesky pollen comes from olive trees and grass, producing asthma and conjunctivitis like symptoms.  

READ MORE: Drinking gin and tonic can help soothe hayfever, new British study claims

Warmer temperatures and rain have driven early flowering. Photo: Cordon Press

It’s particularly bad news for sufferers in Malaga province, which is set to reach ‘maximum’ pollen levels in the next few days. 

According to experts, early flowering as a result of rain and high temperatures has led to higher pollen counts. 

On the coast, this combines with wind to create the perfect storm for hayfever sufferers. 

It’s also bad news for the interior areas of Malaga, where pollen counts are ‘brutal’.

In the next few days, the Serrania de Ronda and Alta Axarquia will become a ‘red zone’ for hayfever sufferers due to pollen released by nettles. 

Across the whole of Andalucia, Quercus and oak trees will be in full force, painting a yellow zone across the whole region. 

Meanwhile, amaranth plants will see yellow regions across the region’s coast. 

Member of the Andalucian Society for Clinical Immunology and Allergens, Jose Maria Vega, warned: “You should take your symptoms seriously. Yes, conjunctivitis and sneezing is annoying but it can also develop into worse conditions such as asthma. 

READ MORE: Ask the Optician – Summer eye care

“While antihistamines are good, vaccines are a better option.”

According to the allergy expert, these can stop 20% of cases becoming asthma. 

Pollen count is expected to remain high until the end of May.

However, if there is more rain and high temperatures, they could continue until mid June. 

In higher areas, conditions will change up to 15 days after they arrive on the coast. 

Pollution also worsens hayfever symptoms, so if you are greatly affected, you may want to consider spending less time in built up areas. 

In contrast to last year, 2024’s figures match the region’s 30 year average. 

2023 saw some of the worst conditions in recent years, with pollen levels three times above average. 

Nonetheless, sufferers should take measures to ensure their symptoms do not worsen. 

These include: keeping your house and car clean, using sunglasses, cleaning your nose and eyes with water, closing windows, avoiding parks and gardens and much more. 

They also recommended avoiding smoke, strong smells, polluted areas and radical temperature changes.

READ MORE: Dramatic weather in Spain will see highs of 35C this week before fresh bouts of rain and storms

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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