Heartbreaking images show the effect that pollen can have on allergy sufferers as record levels impact Australian cities.
Heartbreaking images show how pollen level spikes are impacting people in Australian cities.
Researchers reported record levels of pollen in Brisbane and Canberra, with spikes also in Sydney, Adelaide and parts of Tasmania.
Australians suffering from allergies, asthma, eczema and hayfever will know the major impact the tiny airborne particles can have.
When eight-month-old Isaiah Piedade’s family took him on a trip to Sydney and Adelaide over Easter, the boy suddenly became very unwell.
His face and body broke out in angry red welts that left him distressed and unable to sleep.
“It got so bad I had to put socks on his hands and all the way up his legs to stop him scratching,” said 37-year-old mum Shabnam Shabir.
“He seemed to itch more at night and was covered in it – all down his face, legs, belly and arms.”
Isaiah’s condition persisted, leaving Ms Shabir seriously concerned for his welfare.
“He was in agony – screaming in pain. Some mornings his bed sheets were even covered in blood. At one point I thought we’d have to take him to hospital,” she said.
By using an over-the-counter eczema and psoriasis cream recommended by a pharmacist, Ms Shabir was able to reduce Isaiah’s dryness and soreness.
Melody Livingstone, who runs a skincare company called MooGoo, said the business had received lots of inquiries in recent weeks from people with allergies and skin conditions like eczema who were struggling due to the weather.
University of Melbourne botanist and pollen expert Associate Professor Ed Newbigin explained the unusually wet past couple of years during La Nina had led to more growth and therefore more pollen in the air.
“Most of what we’re talking about is seasonal grass pollen,” Dr Newbigin said.
While southern Australia’s peak pollen season usually comes around November, the recent downpour affecting the east coast has led to another spike.
“You don’t get prizes for reaching the conclusion that grass grows well if there’s a lot of rain around,” Dr Newbigin said.
For those who suffer badly from high levels of pollen in the air, he recommended downloading the University of Melbourne’s app that warns of days that are high risk.
Originally published as Heartbreaking pics of pollen sufferer as record levels impact Aussie cities