Do you share your life with hay fever?

If you do, you will know how miserable life can be when this unwelcome ‘friend’ comes to visit and how it can keep you from performing your everyday activities like breathing properly and opening your eyes wider than slits.

Although it’s difficult to avoid pollen, particularly in the high seasons… reducing your exposure to the things that might trigger your hay fever may help to ease your symptoms.

Who can get hay fever? Well, whilst not everyone will get hay fever, it actually affects 1 in 5 Australians at some point in their life! It usually begins in childhood, however it can also appear in your adult years, and is more likely to occur if you have a family history of allergies such as asthma or eczema.

Symptoms and Common Causes of Hay Fever

If you’ve ever had a runny nose, sneeze constantly and have itchy eyes…. And DON’T have a cold then this could be a sign that you or your kids have hay fever.

Most often hay fever (also known as ‘allergic rhinitis’) is caused by an allergic response to indoor and/or outdoor allergens. You will probably know these allergens as pollen, dust mites, fungal spores, animal fur or other occupational sources. A less commonly known factor that can have an impact on your hay fever is higher ultra-violet (UV) radiation.

Simple Things You Can Do To Try and Prevent Hay Fever

We all have our daily routines and commitments… and sometimes these can be impossible difficult to change. But if you or your kids suffer from hay fever, there are some simple things you could try to reduce your exposure to pollens:

Stay indoors

  • If the pollen count is high, try to stay inside and keep doors and windows shut. There’s lots of ways to check the pollen count… try looking at the following website: http://www.weatherzone.com.au/pollen-index/
  • Don’t keep freshly cut flowers in the house.
  • If you have to dust, which I’m sure most of us would rather not do, use a damp cloth. This will help stop any pollen from being spread into the air.
  • Pollens can live in your carpets, so it’s pretty important to vacuum regularly… blegh.
  • If you are allergic to your pet, you might have to keep them in a different room during hay fever season OR wash them regularly to remove any pollen from their fur.
  • Don’t smoke, and don’t let other people smoke in your house. Cigarette smoke will irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways… making your symptoms worse.

Avoiding pollens outside

  • Wear wraparound sunglasses – this will help stop pollen getting into your eyes. You can get wraparound sunglasses for your kids too.
  • When you’re out on the road keep your car windows closed. Pollen filters are available to install in the air vents of your car – these should be changed every time your car is serviced.
  • If possible, avoid playing with the kids on the grass or walking in grassed areas – particularly at certain times of the day (early morning and the evening) when pollen counts are high. And of course, mowing the lawn is a definite no-go zone!

Treatment

Start treatment early!

Whilst most people wait until symptoms start before they look for relief, most treatments need to be started at least two weeks before symptoms appear.

Most people can get at least some relief for their hay fever symptoms with treatment. Speak with your GP or Pharmacist – there are both over the counter and prescription medications that can help.

For more great health and summer safety articles from National Pharmacies, visit the Vital Health website.

Author

National Pharmacies is a well known and highly respected South Australian based organisation, which has been caring for the community since 1911. For more great health and summer safety articles from National Pharmacies, visit the Vital Health website at www.vitalhealth.com.au

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