All Of The Allergens That Might Be Affecting Your Health This Summer

It's not just hayfever szn...

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It’s that time of year again – summer.

The time where eyes are streaming, noses are running, and sneezes are more common than the sun making even the briefest of appearances.

Thanks, Ireland.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll already have been battling your way through these hay fever ridden days, but beware! It’s not just pesky pollen that’s causing your sniffles.

In fact, there are lots of different elements at play. This is them.


The big hitter.

Pharmacist and GoldenEye advisor Sultan Dajani says that pollen causes hay fever in adults and kids, and that the pollen count is “usually worse between late March and the end of September… However, the pollen season is getting longer.”

Pollen counts are increasing due to increased temperatures caused by climate change.

Here in Ireland, and in the UK, 95% of people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen, of which there is a lot of, but there’s also grass pollen and weed pollen at play, which can trigger hay fever symptoms too.


It’s time to get the hoover out, because every season is dust season, baby.

Lots of people are allergic to dust… and dust mites, those tiny little bugs that live in bedding, furniture, carpets. They’re tiny, too small to be seen by the naked eye, and they might just be wreaking havoc on your summer vibe.

“Dust mites are probably the most common trigger of year-round allergies as well as challenges like asthma,” says Dajani.

“There are at least 13 different species of dust mites. They feed mainly on the tiny flakes of human skin that people shed each day. Dust mites like temperatures of 20-25 degrees Celsius and humidity levels of 70-80 per cent.

“Most homes are perfect for them, so when we spend more time indoors in the autumn and winter, we have much more contact with them.”


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Pollution & smoke

Yep, changing environmental factors also have the ability to affect our health – particularly the eyes.

Air pollution caused by carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide can lead to itchy, watery, and sensitive eyes, while smoke from tobacco products and wood fires can also be irritating.

Lest we forget that smoking itself comes with all its own health problems, far beyond hay fever symptoms.


We’re very sorry to say but your furry friends could also be contributing to your allergies this summer… even if you’re not allergic to them.

Pets can bring in all sort of irritants from the outside world, including pollen and pet dander. Dajani says: “Like pollen, this results in the body releasing histamine to fight the allergen, which then can end up in eyes feeling red and itchy as well as a runny nose and sneezing.”

Still, they’re cute so they get away with it, right?


A Dublin landlord classic, mould is a bitch – and it seems to be everywhere these days.

It’s not just unsightly, it’s also a known trigger for asthma, nasal congestion, and respiratory issues.

Dajani says: “When mould releases spores into the air and they come into contact with us either on the skin or by entering the nose they cause allergic reactions.”

So, there you go – all the things you should take heed of if you find yourself struggling this time of year.

Happy allergen fighting!