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Everything You Need to Know About Hay Fever

Written By Go Vita


What causes hay fever, and what are its symptoms? 

Hay fever is triggered by environmental allergens coming into contact with the nose and/or eyes. The resulting inflammation of the affected mucous membranes is responsible for the ensuing symptoms, which can include: A runny and/or itchy nose Sneezing Nasal congestion Itchy, watery eyes Itchy or scratchy throat 


Why do some people get hay fever only at certain times of the year, while others suffer all year round? 

Broadly speaking, hay fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is triggered by one of two forms of airborne allergens: Pollens from grasses, weeds or trees, which tend to be problematic for hay fever sufferers at certain times of the year when the plant in question is flowering. Indoor allergens like dust mites, mould and animal dander, which don’t have seasonal variations and consequently can cause hay fever at any time 


Which plants are most likely to cause hay fever?

Plant allergens vary from region to region but can include a range of grasses, weeds and trees. Common examples include Paterson’s curse, pellitory weed (also known as asthma weed) and ragweed. For the most part, species that have been introduced to Australia are more likely to cause hay fever than our own native plants. Notable exceptions include casuarina trees, also known as Australian oaks and white cypress pine trees, also known as Murray pine trees. 


Why is my hay fever worse when it’s windy? 

Unlike flowers, which tend to be pollinated by birds, insects and animals, many kinds of grass and weeds rely on wind for pollination. Their tiny pollen particles are spread far and wide with the goal of creating a new generation of plants. 


It’s a common-sense strategy that helps plants survive. Unfortunately does mean that on windy days in high pollen season, hay fever sufferers have an increased likelihood of experiencing the dreaded sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes of allergic rhinitis. 

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