Allergy sufferers are in the midst of what some say is a worse year than most for hay fever in the capital.


A short period of spring weather followed by summer heat is causing plants to pollinate all at once instead of over several weeks. (iStock)

A very short span of spring weather followed by a blast of summer heat is to blame. It's causing plants to pollinate all at once instead of spreading the process out over several weeks.

"This time of year the weather's getting nicer and the buds are coming out, everybody's cutting grass again, so you know we are starting to see a lot of people coming in complaining of the runny nose and the sneezing and the itchy, watery eyes," said pharmacist Donald Johnstone.

He said people are coming in to see him about allergies this year all at once.

"A lot more people at once, whereas last year it was a little bit more spread out," he said.

"This year seems a lot worse," said 14-year-old Duncan Roi, who said he took several days off school because of his allergies.

"It's hard to focus because you are always itching your nose, or blowing your nose," he said.

Fortunately for Roi and most people who suffer from allergies, the remedy is cheap and effective.

Drugs with the active ingredient loratadine will bring down or eliminate the symptoms of hay fever in most people.