The pollen count in Canberra is the highest it's been in at least a decade, the period over which measurements have been taken.
The season started slowly, according to Professor Simon Haberle of the ANU but then took off as temperatures rose.
"We have never seen this level," he said.
"In the last week of October, we recorded a series of six-straight days of extreme to high grass pollen, one of those days being a record for grass pollen for the last 10 years," according to Canberra Pollen which Professor Haberle runs.
Every time I sneeze, I want to say, 'It's hay fever'.Eloise Robertson
The rain has two effects on pollen - it dampens it down but it also promotes the growth of grass, and so the pollen which is agony for asthmatics and hay fever sufferers.
"It's been a tough spring because there's been so much pollen," Eloise Robertson who suffers from asthma said.
Rain does dampen pollen but the aftermath on the dry days is more of it floating around to cause allergic reactions, she said. "The days after are really bad."
For her, this is the second difficult summer in a row. After the drought, the rains came and the grass and pollen with them.
She suffers attacks of asthma which are so severe that she ends up in hospital. One year, she was taken there 12 times as pollen acted on her lungs and choked her airways.
This year, she has not had to go to hospital because she has been put on new, stronger medication.
As well as the drugs, the student of software engineering at the University of Canberra manages her life to avoid pollen, keeping indoors when it's bad, so she has avoided hospital this season.
One of the new anxieties is that people sometimes think a sneeze is a symptom of COVID (which it isn't). "Every time I sneeze, I want to say, 'It's hay fever'."
"My eyes get red and my nose gets runny and people start to look at me."
Canberra is not a good place for asthmatics and hay fever sufferers (the two conditions are different: asthma causes a tightening of the airways which makes breathing difficult while hay fever leads to runny eyes and a lot of sneezing).
Canberra doesn't have the sea breezes of Sydney or Melbourne (or Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide, for that matter). It is the Bush Capital - and the bush is replete with pollen-generating plants.
A lot of the trouble comes from non-indigenous oaks, birch and other introduced trees in the older suburbs.
Pharmacists in the ACT report high demand for over-the-counter inhalers but Mark Leighton of Lanyon Pharmacy thought that people were learning to manage asthma far better, perhaps learning from last year's bad season.
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