Hay Fever in Australia
There are an estimated 9 million hay fever sufferers in Australia.
It doesn’t matter if you live in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Perth, Darwin or Adelaide: Hay Fever and allergies hit Aussies Hard in the summer.
If your nose starts itching every time you go close to a flower in summer, you probably are allergic to pollen and will fall prey to hay fever. It attacks during the spring and summer months when trees, flowers and grass start releasing pollen into the air.
The symptoms are easy enough to identify: Inflamed eyes, runny nose, fever, headache, blocked sinus…
Treatments usually include antihistamine tablets, nose sprays or, in the very worst cases, steroids. For extended hay fever symptoms, one can often undergo allergen treatment as well.
In Australia, hay fever hits most hard during spring and summer. The worst hit regions in the whole country would be the south, and especially the south-eastern regions. This means that one third of Australia falls prey to hay fever. If you are allergic to pollen, then avoid Melbourne and Canberra like the plague during spring time. These two cities are hubs of pollen allergy. Melbourne can be difficult for hay fever sufferers because of the grass pollen getting blown into the city from the Northern grasslands. The winds in spring bring it. However, it is very difficult to determine which places are the worst hits since it differs from person to person. For some people, Brisbane has been a worse place to be in, as compared to Melbourne.
Interestingly, most of the pollen does not come from any native Australian plants, but rather from the exotic grass which are imported into the country. These can be found all over. Some of the common culprits include perennial ryegrass and couch or Bermuda grass. One tree that produces some really potent pollen is the White Cypress Murray Pine. It grows all over the western mountains to the plains in the east. This tree flowers around late July.
One of the ways to avoid getting exposed to pollen is by avoiding any trips to the countryside, mowing the lawn, etc. According to doctors, pollen release peaks during 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm. This is the time you should stay away from grass.
The problem with Australia is that it suffers from a long hay fever season because of the variety of plants that pollinate at different times of the year. Some of the trees start as early as late winter and early spring. Grasses release pollen in spring and summer while weeds do so later. You can head for the east coast for some respite as pollen count is lower there. The Great Dividing Range protects it from the westerly winds which bring in pollen.
Try and stay away from grasses and pollen as much as you can. This means no picnics or day trips on hot windy days or rolling in the hay shed. Another way of preventing pollen from entering the nose and wreaking havoc is by coating your nostrils with Vaseline. Also, wear sunglasses during the day if you are out and about during the warmer weather (especially if it is windy) to reduce eye exposure to allergens, pollen and dust.
Other Countries and Hay Fever
- Hay Fever in the USA
- Hay Fever in the UK
- Hay Fever in Ireland
- Hay Fever in South Africa
- Hay Fever in New Zealand
- Hay Fever in Japan
- Hay Fever in China
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