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Aaaaa Choo! Gesundheit! Bless You! – It’s Hay Fever Season Again
Spring is well and truly upon us – the flowers are beginning to bloom, the weather is warming and the days are getting longer. But while most Melbournians are welcoming the balmier weather (and the end of the coldest winter since 1989), for sufferers of hay fever, spring can be an utterly miserable time of year.
Hay fever, otherwise known as allergic rhinitis, affects approximately 1 in 7 people. It is an allergic response to airborne substances that are breathed in, causing the membranes lining the mouth, nose and throat to swell. Hay fever often arises seasonally, in the spring and summer months, when pollens from grasses, weeds and trees are released into the air; however, it can occur year round or perennially. Perennial symptoms are usually brought about by indoor allergens such as animal dander, moulds and dust mites. Such “triggers” can cause a myriad of symptoms, including:
Blocked or runny nose
- Red, itchy and watery eyes, nose and throat
These symptoms, though mild and relatively manageable, can lead to complications such as asthma, sinusitis and more rarely ear infections if left untreated. But sufferers needn’t despair, as treatment options are readily available.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your GP may prescribe antihistamine tablets, eye drops, nasal sprays, immunotherapy known as desensitisation or a combination of these.
So, if hay fever is affecting your day-to-day function, make an appointment to see your doctor today.