Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) is more common than we think it is, affecting 18 per cent of Australians, that is nearly 1 in 5 people.
It is not caused by hay nor does it cause a fever. It is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with allergens in the environment, such as pollens (grasses, weeds or trees), dust mites, mould and animal hair.
Symptoms include runny/itchy or congested nose, sneezing and itchy watery eyes.
Symptoms can sometimes be confused with a head cold and eye infection, however, the main distinguishing factor is the lack of temperature and persistence of symptoms if untreated (viral infections are usually self-limiting). Symptoms can vary from mild, moderate to severe.
If left untreated complications of untreated allergic rhinitis include sleep disturbance, daytime tiredness, headaches, poor concentration, recurrent ear infections in children, recurrent sinus infections in adults and asthma which is more difficult to control.
Symptoms are usually treated with antihistamines (tablets, syrups, nasal sprays, eye drops), intranasal corticosteroid (INCS) sprays, sprays containing a combination of INCS and antihistamine, salt water nasal sprays and rinses.
In some cases, you may need further specialist intervention/immunotherapy.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms, please book in to see one of our friendly doctors at Butler Family Practice. Simple treatment may help alleviate your symptoms and help you function better.