Health: Australian researchers find a way to predict hay fever, asthma attacks

Scientists in Australia have discovered a new way to predict outbreaks of hay fever and asthma in the population, according to recent reports.

The University of Queensland-led (UQ) study published last month, found that grass pollen exposure varied substantially across the allergy season because in areas further from the equator, seasonal variations were released later.

“Using this method, we may be able to better predict when allergenic pollen is present and allow people affected by asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rhinitis to more effectively manage their condition,” UQ School of Public Health Associate Professor Nicholas Osborne said.

“(And) with the advent of personalized medicine, more and more people are becoming aware of which allergen is responsible for their allergy,” Osborne said.

While Osborne admits much more research is needed in order to fully understand the matter, he believes within three to four years it could be possible to produce a better forecast of when and where exposure to pollen occurs.

“We hope to use this data to examine if particular grass species are more allergenic than others,” Osborne said.

“We are doing this by examining hospital and GP records in Britain and seeing if demand for these services involving asthma and rhinitis correlates with the presence of one grass species over another,” Osborne added.