Hayfever hits Perth

Hayfever hits Perth

Spring is hayfever season and right now between 30 to 40 per cent of Perth is suffering with sneezing, itchy-watering eyes and runny noses.

Murdoch University's Head of the School of Pharmacy, Associate Professor Robert Coltrona, said hayfever is caused by an allergic reaction to fur, pollen and grass.

"Hayfever can hit at any time of the year, but it is worse in Spring when plants are growing and flowers are giving off pollen," Professor Coltrona said.

Hayfever can be hereditary but it can also be caused by repeated exposure to irritants over a period of time.

"Increased sensitivity caused by continuous exposure to irritants has resulted in more people developing the condition each year," Professor Coltrona said.

"Usually sufferers can't get rid of it, the best strategy is learning how to cope with it.

"Your pharmacist has a variety of products you can use including antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops.

"The best thing to do is try different products and find out what works best for you."

It is important to choose a medication carefully and consult your pharmacist for advice. Some products cause drowsiness so are not suitable to be taken when driving or operating machinery.

In more serious cases over the counter medications may not be enough and your doctor can prescribe an anti-inflammatory with a steroid in it.

"In extreme cases hayfever can be debilitating and sufferers can take an allergy test, find out what is causing the reaction and then have injections to help the body build up antibodies against the irritants," Professor Coltrona said.



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