Full of the joys of spring? If you suffer with hayfever, perhaps not! Whilst there’s no cure for this rather annoying seasonal allergy, there are some helpful remedies that work hard to stop hayfever symptoms in their tracks. We spoke to our pharmacist, Daniel Zhou, to get his expert recommendations on the best hayfever remedies out there. These are the hayfever treatments to invest in to see you through allergy season and beyond.
About one in five Australians suffer from hayfever. Despite its name — it has nothing to do with hay, nor do you experience fever symptoms — hayfever (the common name for a condition called allergic rhinitis) is in fact an allergic reaction caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, which in the case of hayfever, is usually a reaction to different types of pollen.
Those who suffer from this very common allergy will know its effects all too well. Runny and itchy noses, incessant sneezing, itchy, red eyes, airways so blocked you can hardly breathe, not to mention feelings of exhaustion. Hayfever is far from fun.
As we enter into spring, hayfever season is at its peak, so we thought it would be helpful to share some advice on how to help manage your allergy symptoms.
From saline drops and nasal sprays to antihistamines and herbal supplements, we spoke to our pharmacist Daniel Zhou to get the lowdown on the best hayfever remedies out there. Here’s how to manage your allergy symptoms and make it through the sneezy season with a smile.
What is hayfever?
Hayfever is a seasonal allergy (an allergy that crops up at certain times of the year — particularly during the spring and summer) that occurs when your immune system identifies an airborne substance that’s usually harmless (pollen), as dangerous.
Usually allergens are harmless, but for people with hayfever, their immune system overreacts by releasing histamine and other chemicals into their bloodstream in an attempt to fight the allergens off. These chemicals produce the symptoms of an allergic reaction — sneezing, itchy, runny eyes and throat etc.
The symptoms you experience are caused by the body's immune response to inhaled pollen, resulting in chronic inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages.
What causes it?
Pollen is the main cause of hayfever. Pollen grains can be spread by birds, insects (bees, butterflies and moths), and wind. Most of the pollens that cause allergies are produced by airborne pollen from northern hemisphere grasses, trees and weeds.
Hayfever gets its name from summer hay-cutting season, bit the real culprits of seasonal allergies during spring/summer are grasses and weeds, such as ryegrass and timothy grass. Other plants that commonly cause allergies include pellitory weed (also known as asthma weed), Paterson’s curse, ragweed and parthenium weed.
Australian native grasses are less likely to cause allergies than those introduced from overseas, exotic or lawn-variety grasses.
What are the symptoms of hayfever?
Common hayfever symptoms to watch out for include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy throat
- Red, itchy or watery eyes
What are the best hayfever remedies?
Antihistamines and and corticosteroids (steroids) are the most common hayfever treatments. Antihistamines usually come in tablet form, and they work by blocking the histamine reaction in the body to stop the allergy symptoms from occurring.
Corticosteroids have an anti-inflammatory effect. When pollen triggers your allergic reaction, the inside of your nose becomes inflamed. Corticosteroids, which usually come in either pills, nasal sprays or topical creams, reduce this inflammation and any accompanying hayfever symptoms.
There are also some effective natural hayfever remedies out there too — keep reading below to find out which ones.
Our pharmacist Dan recommends taking a hayfever and allergy relief tablet every morning throughout spring and summer to suppress hayfever symptoms. Here are his top recommendations:
Claratyne Hayfever & Allergy Relief 30 pack
Zyrtec Cetirizine Rapid Acting Relief 30 Tablets
Telfast Allergy Relief 30 Tablets
Claratyne Children's Allergy Relief 60mL
Telfast Kids Hayfever & Allergy Relief 60mL
Children's Paedamin Decongestant 200mL
Babies (under 1): Hayfever medications are not prescribed to babies under one. If you do notice they have symptoms, take them to the doctor for a professional diagnosis. They will be able to advise further. Natural remedies that could help include rubbing baby-friendly balm around the nose to block the pollen, wash their face regularly with cold water to help soothe their itchy eyes, and pop a hat and sunglasses on as a barrier to protect against the pollen. You can also use a saline nasal spray like Fess Little Noses to relieve symptoms of a blocked or runny nose.
Rinse your eyes regularly with cold water to flush away pollen or use eye drops to help clear and relief itchy, red eyes. Try:
Monitor the daily pollen count and forecast, so you know if it’s a high pollen day: Melbourne Pollen Count, Sydney Pollen Count, Canberra Pollen Count, Brisbane Pollen Count, Air matters, Pollen Wise A nasal spray or douche can also help flush out pollens. Try
FESS Original Nasal Spray 30mL
Nasonex Allergy Nasal 140 Metered Spray
Drixine 12 Hour Relief Nasal Spray 15mL
Natural hayfever remedies
BioCeuticals ArmaForce Daily Protect 60 Capsules
Ki Allergy & Hayfever Control Formula 60 Tablets
IMUNI Immune Defence 60 Capsules
If you suffer badly from hayfever through the warmer seasons you can contact us and talk to one of our friendly pharmacists.
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