Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) – How Can You Be Safe

hayfever and allergy relief

Allergy rhinitis is also referred to as hay fever.

Environmental allergens such as dust mites, mold, animal dander, and pollen (from grasses, weeds, or trees) can irritate the nose and eyes, resulting in hay fever.

The majority of people link hay fever to spring because that’s when grass pollens are most prevalent in the air. This is often referred to as spring hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Hay fever, though, can strike at any time of the year.

Perennial allergic rhinitis is the term used when symptoms last all year long. Sensitivity to allergens such as house dust mites, mold, animal dander, or occupational allergens typically causes chronic allergic rhinitis.

Hayfever In Australia

In Australia, hay fever is rather typical, especially in the spring and summer when pollen counts are at their maximum. Grass, tree, and weed pollens are the most typical allergens in Australia that lead to hay fever. The precise allergens that cause hay fever, however, can vary depending on where you live because different parts of Australia have distinct pollen seasons and different types of pollen.

Grass pollen tends to have a greater impact on residents of eastern states and the southeast of Australia, whereas tree pollen is more abundant in southern states and the southwest of Australia. Due to their subtropical environment, several sections of Australia, including northern Queensland, experience year-round pollen seasons.

People who are susceptible to hay fever are advised to be aware of the pollen count in their area and take precautions to prevent exposure to allergens, such as keeping windows closed and staying indoors during the height of pollen season.

hayfever and allergy relief

Symptoms Of Hayfever

Initial warning signs and symptoms are:

  • Runny nose
  • Scratchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery and itchy eyes

When hay fever symptoms are really bad, a person may find it difficult to sleep or concentrate, as well as feel exhausted or ill.

Natural Remedies To Treat Hayfever

There are a number of natural treatments that could help reduce allergy and hay fever symptoms. A few of these are:

  • Local honey: Using it sparingly will help you develop immunity to local allergies. This is because the honey includes trace amounts of pollen, which can help the body become less sensitive to it.
  • Quercetin: It is a flavonoid that can be found in foods like berries, apples, and onions. It has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may aid in easing hay fever symptoms.
  • Probiotics: Some probiotic strains have been demonstrated to support immune system development and inflammation reduction, which may assist in controlling allergy and hay fever symptoms.
  • Vitamin C: It has been demonstrated that high dosages of vitamin C have anti-histamine characteristics and can help lessen the intensity of hay fever symptoms.
  • Nasal irrigation: It involves flushing the nasal passages with a saline solution, which can help clear out irritants and lessen congestion.
  • Butterbur: It is a plant extract that has been proven to be useful in easing hay fever symptoms like runny nose, itching, and sneezing.
  • Acupuncture: By stimulating particular body points, this kind of traditional Chinese medicine may help to reduce the symptoms of hay fever and allergies.

It is crucial to remember that these solutions might not be effective for everyone, and it is always recommended to speak with a healthcare provider before trying any new treatments.

Hayfever And Allergy Relief Tablets

In Australia, a number of over-the-counter medications are available that can aid with hay fever symptoms, such as:

  • Cetirizine: This antihistamine, which is available as a tablet, works well to reduce symptoms like itching, sneezing, and runny nose
  • Another antihistamine medication that can help with hay fever symptoms is loratadine
  • Fexofenadine: This antihistamine, which is also offered as a pill, can help lessen symptoms like itching, sneezing, and runny nose
  • Sodium chromoglicate: By stabilising mast cells, which releases histamine, this tablet can help prevent the symptoms of hay fever
  • Intranasal corticosteroid sprays (INCS) 
  • Combined intranasal corticosteroid and antihistamine sprays 
  • Decongestant nasal sprays

Before taking any drug, it is always best to speak with a doctor or pharmacist to ensure that it is safe for you and to determine the proper dosage.

Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT)

Some people may benefit from allergy immunotherapy (AIT), also known as desensitisation, which exposes a person to progressively higher doses of an allergen to increase tolerance and minimize symptoms. This treatment may lessen the severity of hay fever symptoms. Only an expert in clinical immunology or allergies should perform AIT.

Can Hay Fever Be Fatal?

Rarely. Hay fever typically doesn’t result in anaphylaxis, the most serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction. This implies that although hay fever might be uncomfortable for sufferers, it is typically not harmful.

If untreated, hay fever and allergic reactions to airborne allergens provide the main risk that they will develop (and occasionally even initiate) asthma. A severe asthma attack can be fatal, yet it is a highly prevalent medical illness (affecting 1 in 9 Australians). This is the biggest risk factor for hay fever, which is why it’s crucial to consult a doctor about hay fever therapy as soon as you can.

Though not proven, some authors recommend swimming as a way to reduce problematic asthma symptoms.

Can Hay Fever Be Permanently Cured?

Hay fever is currently incurable; thus, controlling symptoms and avoiding triggers are the mainstays of treatment. Thankfully, there are a lot of excellent solutions available for this. Your physician or another expert can advise you on the most appropriate hay fever medication for your circumstances.

Over time, hay fever can get better as you age. After several years, about 50% of people say their hay fever symptoms are better, and between 10% and 20% say their ailment goes away entirely. Despite the fact that there is no current cure, there is still hope for the future and a wide range of choices. You can learn to control the allergic reaction caused by hay fever with a professional first aid course.

How Can  A First Aid Course Help You To Control Hay Fever Symptoms

In case of an emergency, such as if a person with hayfever has an allergic reaction that could be severe and life-threatening, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of first aid.

In this situation, taking a first aid course could help you learn how to identify the signs of an allergic reaction, such as breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling, as well as how to administer the necessary first aid measures, such as giving an epinephrine auto-injector (if one is prescribed) and performing CPR if necessary. First aid training may also instruct you on other emergency scenarios and how to react appropriately, which could be helpful information in various circumstances.