The hay fever season in Perth is shaping up to be one of the worst in years.
Weather conditions are ideal for pollen production and health experts have issued a warning for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
The city has one of the highest spring-summer pollen counts of any in the world.
Curtin University palynologist Lynne Milne says weather conditions for pollen production are ideal and there is little relief in sight for sufferers.
“I think the season has started a little bit late but I do think it’s probably going to be quite bad because of the extra rain that we’ve had,” she said.
“Now the sunshine is here, we’ve got the easterly winds like we’ve got today, and for me, today’s a bad hay fever day.”
About 20 per cent of Perth’s population suffers allergic rhinitis.
Symptoms range from a runny nose to watery, itchy eyes and frequent sneezing.
Clinical immunologist Michael O’Sullivan says, in some cases, hay fever can be debilitating, particularly for those with asthma.
“A lot of patients don’t really appreciate just how bad their symptoms are and so a lot of the time they’re actually under-treated,” he said.
“And, we do have some quite effective medication treatments available for them.”
The Lung Institute’s WA director Philip Thompson says the treatment approach should be simple.
“If you sneeze a lot you need an antihistamine, if you’re blocked up you need a decongestant and if you want to prevent the problem because it’s a chronic issue for you, you need to use nasal steroid sprays,” he said.
Health experts say changes in the climate are resulting in a more allergic environment in Perth and future hay fever seasons are likely to be longer and more severe.