Ten Ways to help reduce your Hayfever this Spring and Summer

Monday, October 13th, 2014

20% of Australian’s will suffer from hayfever at some point in their lives.[1] That’s one in five people who will experience the watering eyes, runny nose and sneezing that comes along with an allergic reaction.

Known medically as allergic rhinitis, hay fever refers to the symptoms that occur when an individual breaths in an allergen.  Most often these allergens are substances like pollen, pet dander, dust, or insect venom.

2014’s hayfever season has started early and many predict it will be a particularly long and nasty one due to massive grass growth and high pollen counts around much of NSW.

For severe sufferers, hayfever is more than just an annoyance; it can have a debilitating effect on their quality of life. Hayfever is the most common chronic condition in Australia.

Knowing your allergen can be one of the most important steps in treating your hayfever. Working with your Doctor will help you narrow down if your allergic reactions are seasonal or an all year round reaction.

Many long term suffers of hayfever are resigned to the fact that every year as winter gives way to spring, the tissues come out, the nose starts itching and it all starts over. However there are ways you can minimise your exposure to the allergens that are causing your reaction and discomfort.

1. Understand the Pollen Index

Weather forecasts include a pollen forecast where the pollen index is reported in levels of low, moderate, high, very high and extreme.

The Pollen Index measures the potential for pollen to trigger allergic reactions in susceptible people. Pollen levels in the atmosphere will be highest on hot days, and on days where a dry wind is blowing. Additionally, light rain overnight or during the early morning will also cause high pollen levels.

2. Don’t hang sheets or clothing outside to dry on days of high pollen count as allergens will cling to the material 

3. Try to stay indoors on days of high pollen count – especially after midday in spring when the pollen count forecast is high, and on windy days or after thunderstorms

4. Keep windows closed when pollen counts are high

5. If you go outdoors on days of high pollen counts, shower and wash your hair straight away to avoid allergens clinging to your skin and hair and can help prevent a night time allergy attack

6.Wipe Vaseline inside your nose when you are outdoors: this helps trap pollen and stops it reaching the inner lining of your nose.

7.Wear sunglasses and frequently splash your eyes with water to help protect your eyes from irritation and flush out any pollen

8. Use re-circulated air-conditioning in the car and keep the windows closed

9. Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house

10. Keep pets out of the house during the hay fever season

For further information regarding chronic hayfever symptoms, please contact our ENT specialist Dr Robert Chang at Liverpool Day Surgery on 9601 4488.