Top tips for hayfever prevention this Spring

Woman blowing her nose

Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose… these symptoms are all too familiar to the one in five Australians who suffers from hayfever. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and may also include tiredness, headaches, poor concentration and recurrent sinus infections in adults, according to the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

Hayfever is caused by an allergic reaction and some of the common culprits that can trigger it include pollen, grasses, weeds, dust mites, moulds and animal dander.  

Although you can get hayfever all year round, October and November are the peak months for it in Australia*. So if you feel an attack of the sneezes coming on, here’s what to do about it.

Minimise contact 

Where possible, avoid plants and trees that release their seeds into the air. Keep your windows and doors closed, especially on windy days, to prevent pollen from blowing inside. Dry your clothes and bedding indoors or in a clothes dryer, so they don’t risk catching pollen and dust particles while drying outside.

Check the forecast

The pollen count can vary dramatically day by day and state by state. For example, if you live in the ACT you might suffer more – our nation’s capital had the highest rate of hayfever in 2014-15*. Keep an eye on the pollen prediction for your area – go to pollenforecast.com.au – so you can stay one step ahead. 

Wash it away

If you do need to be outdoors on dusty or windy days, or when the pollen count is high, try jumping in the shower afterwards if you can. Similarly, gently splash your eyes with cool water if they become itchy or irritated. Covering your eyes with a cold compress can also bring some relief from itchiness and irritation.

Seek help

According to ASCIA, hayfever symptoms are likely to persist unless you get proper treatment. So if you’re struggling to manage your symptoms, don’t suffer alone – always seek medical help from a pharmacist or GP. They can prescribe a combination of antihistamines, eye drops and other medications that can help to ease your discomfort. 

*Australian Institute of Health & Welfare

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