However wonderful it is to feel the warmth of the sun and enjoy all the pleasures of la vie al fresco in this season, for many of us it brings high pollen counts and the misery of hay fever and allergies. About 20% of children over 9 years and 30% of adults are affected by allergies in France. Be prepared, know what to expect and take as much protection as you can to lower the risk.
The risks are monitored in France by the National Network of Aerobic Surveillance (NNSA) and the risk of allergy is worse in certain places. One of the main pollen culprits comes from birch pollen which is increasingly present in the north of France, while in the south it is less active, but we do however, have cypress and plane tree pollen there. Allergic risk is calculated based on the quantities of pollen measured and the weather.
We know for example from allergic pollen reports that towards the end of March in the North birch pollen will become more and more present but in the south will be less active, but the cypress pollens will continue for several days on the Mediterranean perimeter, accompanied by pollen from the plane tree.
Grass pollen is spreading gradually throughout France, and an associated risk is mainly present in the West and the South. To help you be prepared, you can read more in the weekly Allergic Pollen Reports.
There is also information here about the pollen risks in Nice.
Keeping a diary can help and if you want to contribute to research, use this free online Pollen Diary, which is in English.
There is also comprehensive information about Pollen and Allergies here, which explains the causes of hay fever and many allergies.
If you feel you need to see a Doctor to help you or your family manage the symptoms, you might find this really useful guide to Medical Terminology in the AngloINFO French Riviera ‘How To’ pages a great help: French Medical Terminology.