While most of us will step into spring with pure joy and delight, for an estimated three million Aussies hay fever can mark a period of social and professional isolation.
Common symptoms linked to hay fever, such as prolific sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes, may appear to be the most inconvenient effects for sufferers, but a recent nationwide survey by Amcal Pharmacy revealed a quarter of sufferers admitted the condition negatively impacts their mood and consequently are more likely to forgo outdoor activities.
We spent five minutes with Amcal Pharmacy Senior Pharmacist James Nevile, who has given us some of the ways in which we can help to finally stop – and beat – hay fever in its tracks.
“While most of us will happy step into the warmer months of spring, our research shows that many feel socially isolated. And with pollen levels set to reach record highs, it’s important to stay protected. Alarmingly, more than one-fifth of sufferers admit to intentionally skipping social events for fear of embarrassment or shame so it’s important we keep this condition top of mind,” James said.
“Distressingly, the impacts of hay fever also stretch to the workplace. In fact, our research showed that more than 20% of sufferers admit their symptoms are often worst when at work. And workers suffering from Hay fever might feel the pressure to stay away from work, as more than one in five Australians said they can’t stand to be around people with persistent hay fever.”
To help you survive the week (and beyond), James has shared his insight into some quick and simple ways to stop the sneezing in its tracks.
1. Scrub up
On days with high amounts of pollen in the air your symptoms can be kept under control by washing your hands more often and cleaning your hair each night. This helps to ensure any pollen residue from the air is off your body and away from your nose.
2. Pollen, pollen go away:
Continuing with the cleaning trend, make sure your house is free from dust and all the windows and doors are closed to keep pollen out. It might also help to dry your clothes inside to keep pollen from attaching to them.
3. Stop your symptoms in their tracks:
Use antihistamines, nasal spray and eye drops to minimise your symptoms. Your local pharmacy is a great place to start for this and remember to take your tablets at the start of each day – this makes sure they reach their peak when you do!
4. Chill out
Stress has been linked with increasing hay fever symptoms. Take a chill pill in the form of herbal tea with ginger and honey. This may relieve symptoms such as congestion and itchiness.
5. Sweet dreams:
Look into buying allergy friendly bedding and ensure it is dust free. This will help to ensure the sniffles are kept at bay while you get your eight hours of peace.