Fraser Coast attacked by hay fever

THIS year's prolonged Fraser Coast scourge of puffy eyes, stuffy noses and plugged ears is definitely something to be sneezed at.

It's called hay fever and it's been consistently attacking us for an unprecedented six months.

Dr Shaun Rudd, president of the Fraser Coast Local Medical Association, puts the tenure of this year's unpleasant condition down to “weird weather”.

“Get a nasal decongestant or nasal spray and simply just learn to live with it.”

An Australian Government report says that the clearing of native vegetation has turned us into the hay fever capital of the world with more than 40 per cent of young adults suffering the symptoms of a runny nose and itchy eyes.

The telltale itchy, puffy, watery eyes and red, stuffy nose signal changes in the seasons in homes and workplaces across the country.

What we are suffering from is allergic rhinitis, or hay fever.

Usually hay fever is seasonal, but it can last all year long if the allergen stays throughout the year.

The Federal Government report says that European settlement has significantly changed our vegetation. Much of the native bush has been cleared.

“Today, plants originating from Europe and America are still popular replacements because of their economic and aesthetic appeal.

“This has heralded important changes in both the amount and the types of pollen distributed in the air. Unfortunately, these changes have had an unforeseen effect on humans.”

Grass pollens, particularly ryegrass found in lawns and turf used in home gardens, roadside verges, parks, sporting fields and tracks is the major culprit.

Pollen from a range of weeds and trees also contributes to allergic reactions. In addition, non-pollen causes, such as fungal spores and house dust mites, may also cause reactions.

Hay Fever Symptoms

Sneezing

Runny nose (clear, thin discharge)

Congested (stuffy) nose

Postnasal drip

Sensation of plugged ear(s)

Watery, bloodshot eyes

Itching of nose, soft palate, ear canal, eyes, and/or skin

Fatigue

Trouble sleeping



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