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Hay Fever

Hay Fever


Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is not caused by hay and does not result in a fever, but is an allergic reaction that affects the nose. It is quite common, affecting approximately 20% of the population including children and adults and is generally caused by the nose or eyes coming into contact with an environmental allergen. Common allergens include pollens, dust mite, moulds and/or animal hair. Spring is most commonly associated with hay fever as airborne pollens from grasses are at their peak, however hay fever can occur at any time of the year.



Symptoms range from mild or moderate to severe with individuals having a sporadic acute attack or experiencing chronic hay fever symptoms. Symptoms of hay fever affect the sinuses and typically include:

  • Sneezing,
  • A runny or stuffy nose,
  • Itchy nose and throat,
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes,
  • Headaches, and/or
  • Snoring.


Complications of hay fever can similarly be short or longer- term such as:

  • Sleep disturbance,
  • Daytime sleepiness,
  • Headaches,
  • Poor concentration,
  • Recurrent infections (particularly of the ear or sinuses), and
  • Difficulty managing asthma or other respiratory conditions.


Treatment options
As hay fever is a result of an allergic reaction, there is no cure, but it is important to minimise exposure to the allergen to reduce and better manage symptoms. If you are unsure of what particular allergen is triggering your hay fever, your health professional can recommend you to a specialist for allergy testing. Once the allergen has been identified, then measures to reduce exposure can be taken.


In general try to:

  • Stay indoors on high pollen days,
  • Minimise and/or avoid lawn areas, opting for bricked or paved areas instead, and
  • Try to reduce exposure to animals.


If symptoms persist, speak to your health professional.



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



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