Grass pollen reached an extreme level in Canberra during November, with levels that have rarely been seen in a decade.
The ANU’s Simon Haberle says grass has been the main contributor to airborne pollen over a wet spring.
“That’s because we have quite a lot of grass, particularly to the north-west and north and east of us and people are quite allergic to those different grass type, particularly rye grass which is the strongest allergy grass we’ve got in our region,” he said.
In addition, ACT Health issued a number of health warnings for the ACT region during November, due to the high pollen levels being combined with thunderstorms, potentially causing some people to develop severe asthma symptoms.
Not all thunderstorms have this effect, but ACT Health urge those prone to asthma to be vigilant and avoid being outside during a storm when the pollen levels are elevated.
“Thunderstorm asthma can be triggered by a combination of high grass pollen levels and a particular type of thunderstorm, which causes some people to develop severe asthma symptoms over a short period of time,” the department said.
There are many options available to help manage allergy and asthma symptoms, so be sure to speak with a health professional to ensure you have a plan and for advice on the best options for you.
If you experience asthma symptoms where usual asthma treatment doesn’t provide relief, seek urgent medical advice. In the event of a medical emergency call 000.
Elevated pollen levels and thunderstorms