Hay Fever in Australia
Statistics show that approximately 1 in 5 Australians suffer from hay fever, and this is even more likely to occur if there is a family history of allergies including asthma or eczema.
The after-hours home call doctor experts at House Call Doctor are often asked how to best help prevent hay fever symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.
What is hay fever?
Allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever, is an allergic reaction that can cause a runny or blocked nose, sneezing and watery eyes, and inflamed sinuses. It is caused by seasonal exposure to pollen, as well as animal fur, house dust and air pollutants.
When does it occur in Australia?
In south-eastern Australia, hay fever is prevalent as we enter spring and early summer, typically beginning around October. In the Northern Territory, the pollens are most potent from April, and in Queensland, peak hay fever season is from December to April.
How can I manage hay fever?
Hay fever is an allergy. Although medications do not cure allergies, they can help reduce side effects. House Call Doctor recommends consulting with your GP about these medications to relieve hay fever symptoms:
- Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Decongestant sprays
- Decongestant tablets
- Antihistamine medication
- Eye drops.
Online pollen forecast tools can help predict when the pollen count will be high. The best tip is to avoid cutting grass, going camping or siting in large grassy areas when the pollen count is high.
Is there a way to reduce symptoms?
Given hay fever stems from pollen exposure, there are some measures that can be taken to reduce hay fever symptoms:
- Choose garden plants that are pollinated by birds instead of plants that release seeds into the air
- Splash your eyes with water to flush out allergens
- Reduce exposure to dust.
House Call Doctor always recommends that you speak with your regular GP if symptoms persist.