Health Advice

Hayfever and Allergies? We can Help

Spring is here, the sun is shining, the birds are signing … which means approximately 1 in 5 people Australia wide are preparing to deal with Hayfever and Allergies.

 

Hayfever, the common name for allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction in the nose, throat and eyes. It commonly occurs in spring and summer, when it is caused by airborne pollens from trees, plants and grasses. Medicines can relieve and prevent symptoms of hayfever. Depending on your personal circumstances, the pharmacist at your local Star Discount Chemist can help, here are a few tips and suggestions they may recommend.

Hayfever and Allergies are Common

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, It is estimated that 1 in 5 Australians suffer from hayfever, making it one of our common allergic conditions. Many children have hayfever and allergies too, with around 12% of 6-7 year olds and over 19 % of 13-14 year olds affected. Apart from the cold-like symptoms themselves, hayfever may make you feel tired and run down due to disturbed sleep, hence adult productivity can be reduced and the performance of school children can be impaired.

Causes of Hayfever and Allergies

Hayfever, or allergic rhinitis, is usually caused by inhaling pollens that are present in the air during certain times of the year. However, some people have symptoms of allergic rhinitis all year round, caused by inhaling allergens such as animal dander, mold spores and house dust mites. A doctor can arrange ‘allergy skin tests’ to help find the cause of allergic rhinitis.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms of hayfever / allergic rhinitis include:Hayfever and Allergies

  • Sneezing,  Running nose
  • Nasal congestion (blocked or stuffy nose)
  • Puffy, itchy, watery and red eyes
  • Itchy nose, ears, mouth or throat
  • Post-nasal drip (mucus in throat), causing a cough
 Self Care

Try to identify and avoid exposure to the allergens that trigger your symptoms. Ways to reduce exposure to allergens include:

  • Stay indoors when pollen count is high e.g. on windy days
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and make your house smoke free
  • Clean your house regularly to remove mould and dust
  • Remove dust with a clean, damp cloth; vacuum instead of sweeping
  • Keep animals outdoors
Medicines

A variety of nonprescription medicines can help relieve and prevent the symptoms of hayfever and allergies. Ask the pharmacist at your local Star Discount Chemist about the best treatment for you.

Medicines  for hayfever and allergies include:

Antihistamines
  • Reduce allergy reactions in the body. Antihistamines can relieve itching, sneezing, running nose and eye symptoms
  • Are available as tablets, syrups, nasal drops and sprays and eye drops
  • Drowsiness is a side effect of some oral antihistamines. Non-drowsy antihistamines are also available
Decongestants
  • Reduce nose and sinus congestion
  • Are available as tablets, syrups, nasal drops and sprays
  • Do not use decongestant nose drops or sprays for more than 5 days in a row
Corticosteroid Nose Sprays
  • Corticosteroid nose sprays can reduce or prevent this inflammation
  • Can give some relief within a few hours, but several days of regular use may be needed to achieve the maximum effect

Remember, before adopting any of these tips, it is important to consult a medical professional for advice. If you need more information, visit https://www.allergy.org.au.

Your pharmacist at your local Star Discount Chemist can assist with the options that best suit your current situation, health conditions and existing medications. We’re here to help and remember we’re just around the corner.