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Allergies and hayfever

Ah-choooo! All about hayfever and allergies.

Allergic rhinitis – more commonly known as hay fever – is an allergy that affects the nose. While the majority of people associate hay fever with spring, when airborne pollens from grasses are prevalent, the condition can affect sufferers at any time of the year.

When this occurs it is known as perennial allergic rhinitis, which is usually caused by the presence of allergens around the home including dust mites, moulds or animal hair or fur or occupational allergens.

If you suffer from hay fever, then you are definitely not alone. In fact in Australia, one in five, or 20 per cent, of Australians suffer from allergic rhinitis.

Also, if family members suffer from allergies, asthma or eczema you may be more prone to hay fever.

Signs and symptoms of hay fever can include:

• Sneezing

• A runny or stuffy nose

• Itchy ears, nose and throat

• Red, itchy or watery eyes

• Headaches

Some of the symptoms of hay fever can also be present in other conditions such as polyps, infections, hormonal imbalances and the use of medicines. So it is a good idea to chat to your pharmacist to help determine if it is hay fever you need to treat.

The type and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person, so again it is best to talk to your pharmacist about the best treatment option for you. This may be a nasal spray, eye drop or antihistamine tablets.

Some of these medications should not be taken with other medications. Others can cause drowsiness which may be dangerous if you’re driving or operating machinery.

Other things you can do include:

• Identifying triggers and avoiding them – the most important thing to do

• Try to stay indoors when pollen counts are high and avoid grassy areas; wearing wrap-around sunglasses can help keep pollen out of your eyes; have a shower after pollen exposure.

• Keep windows closed and re-circulate air in the car

• Reduce exposure to dust and pet hair by removing or shampooing carpets, removing soft toys from bedrooms, washing bed linen in hot water and limiting contact with pets

• Start treatment early and take it regularly, especially if you know you will be exposed to triggers

 

The pharmacists at CHC Pharmacy are available at any time to provide assistance with medicine  management. Always feel free to talk to us about your prescriptions and other medications, vitamins or herbal remedies you may be taking. And don’t forget, we can deliver to your home or office on the Coffs Coast for free.

 

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info@chcpharmacy.com.au
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