Hay fever season starts earlier than ever in Switzerland

Hay fever season starts earlier than ever in Switzerland

According to the Swiss Allergy Centre, the hay fever season has started earlier than ever in Switzerland thanks to the warm weather. The hazel tree, one of the first to release its pollen, has already started to flower. 

Hazel tree flowering 20 to 30 days ahead of normal in 2023

The Hazel tree, whose fruit is the hazelnut, is known to be one of the first trees to release its pollen and is flowering 20 to 30 days ahead of schedule, according to experts. Hazel trees are one of the earliest trees to flower since they only need mild temperatures of around 5 degrees Celsius and a small amount of sunlight - making current conditions in Switzerland especially habitable for the plant. 

A press release from the Swiss Allergy Centre explained that pollen levels have been rising for over a week already.: “As of December 28, the first hazelnut pollens were recorded, especially north of the Alps, which is only very rarely produced so far at this period."

Pollen count is particularly high in Geneva

The pollen count is especially high in Geneva at the moment, according to data from the Swiss meteorological service, MeteoSwiss. Other French-speaking Swiss cantons are also seeing pollen levels rise. 

Though there’s not much that hay fever sufferers can do, there are ways to stay prepared on the days when the pollen count is highest. Apps such as Pollen News and over-the-counter allergy medications can help control some of the side effects as spring draws nearer.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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