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How to manage your allergies through spring

Hay fever can hit hard at this time of year, but preventative measures and treatment options could help ease your symptoms. Let’s talk about seasonal allergy management...

Spring is generally a wonderful time of year. Sunny days, cool nights and flowers in bloom combine to create what for many is the ideal season to enjoy the great outdoors; you’ve beaten the winter chill and you’re yet to face the heat and humidity of Australia’s summer.  

But for a lot of people there’s a frustrating downside to the warmer weather of those glorious months from September onwards – it’s prime allergy season.

Although allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is not limited to spring – it can be caused by any contact of the nose and/or eyes with environmental allergens, for example dust mite, mould or animal hair – but this is peak season for the airborne grass pollens that affect millions of Australians. 

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or spring hay fever, is an allergic response characterised by unwanted symptoms including itchy, watery and irritated eyes as well as incessant sneezing and a runny nose that no hanky can handle.

If you’ve ever experienced hay fever you’ll be all too familiar with its ability to seize control of your sinuses and render you a sniffling, agitated mess for hours on end. It’s a rather inconvenient condition for an active person of any age.

As health problems go, hay fever is a relatively minor concern, and over the years you may have become somewhat accustomed to it or felt like you had picked up a lingering common cold.

That said, the impact on your everyday life is nothing to sneeze at. Beyond the most common symptoms, hay fever has the potential to cause other complications such as headaches, poor concentration, sleep disturbance, daytime fatigue, recurrent sinus infections and more. 

So, is there any hope for those suffering from seasonal hay fever? Unfortunately there’s no real ‘cure’ for hay fever. If it afflicts you now, it probably always will to some extent. But there are ways to manage the symptoms of hay fever to feel more capable of functioning freely throughout high pollen periods.


A number of remedies are worth considering for anyone who suspects they’re suffering from spring hay fever and would like to find out if their symptoms could be relieved.

If you haven’t done so already, it’s highly advisable to first speak to your GP to confirm that hay fever is definitely the issue. At this stage you might be referred to a clinical immunology or allergy specialist for further allergy testing.  

Once properly diagnosed, you’ll be able to investigate different treatments – both prescribed and sold over the counter – that could help reduce some or all of your symptoms.

Examples of treatments to try include antihistamines, decongestant tablets and nasal corticosteroid sprays that make it easier to breathe through the nose and help congestion caused by various conditions, in particular the irritation and inflammation associated with hay fever. Quality eye drops can also provide non-drowsy relief from hay fever. 

In addition to taking recommended medication, simply minimising your exposure to the allergens you’re susceptible to may begin to ease your symptoms.

It’s easier said than done, but avoiding certain environments and conditions with high pollen levels will almost certainly help mitigate the effects.

In practical terms this might mean sleeping at night with the windows closed or using the air-conditioning in your vehicle instead of winding down the windows.

It could be a good idea to take holidays by the ocean rather than immerse yourself in grassy countryside. Even wearing glasses or sunglasses whenever you go outside may prove beneficial.

It’s also prudent to check pollen count forecasts in your area or download an app on your phone to receive alerts when pollen counts are expected to be higher than usual. Any effort to avoid direct exposure could make a noticeable difference. 

Don’t let seasonal hay fever get you down – it’s time to spring into action!