Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, can be triggered by pollen from grasses, weeds and trees.
Spring is traditionally the worst time of year for hay fever sufferers, when pollination of grass, weeds, wildflowers and trees is at its height.
Hay fever can also be caused by allergens around the home…
…such as dust mites, mould, or animal hair. This kind of hay fever tends to occur all year round.
18% of Australians - of all ages - suffer from hay fever.
That’s more than 3 million of us! It is more common in females, and most prevalent in the 25-44 year age bracket. It is one of the most common respiratory conditions in Australia.
Hay fever symptoms can be similar to cold symptoms:
Classic hay fever symptoms include: itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy throat or ears, sneezing and headache.
Why does hay fever happen?
In hay fever the immune system launches an ‘attack’ against pollen or other microscopic particles trapped in the nose, causing a chronic inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages.
Hay fever can be debilitating
Complications of hay fever can include fatigue, poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, headaches, poor concentration, irritability, recurrent ear infections in children, recurrent sinus infections in adults and increased risk of developing asthma.
There’s no real cure for hay fever, however there are effective treatments and medications that can relieve the symptoms. Ask your Doctor for advice, as some medications can create more problems than they solve. Allergy symptoms tend to persist until treated appropriately
Hay fever management
See your GP to develop a hay fever management plan. Staying on top of your symptoms can help reduce the discomfort and severity of the disease, especially for people who also suffer from asthma.
The pollen season also brings an increase in asthma attacks. For people prone to wheezing or coughing with their hay fever, avoid being outside during gusty winds and thunderstorms.
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