Does Your Family suffer from Pollen Allergies?
Australia has now become the ‘hay fever capital’ of the world with over 40% of young adults suffering the symptoms of a runny nose and itchy eyes. Allergic Rhinitis (Hay fever) affects 1 in 5 Australians and predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections. People with Hay fever can get tired and run down due to lack of quality sleep. Severe Hay fever reduces performance and learning in children, results in reduced productivity and more frequent absenteeism in adults.
Pollen from Weeds , Grasses or Trees can trigger symptoms of Hay fever and makes asthma more difficult to control. Due to the climate change the number of Pollen in Australia is rising steadily. A high proportion of the population has a health problem with Pollen of flowers and grass. In the Pollen season these people mainly have to stay indoors with closed windows.
Major thunderstorms during spring can make things even worse because the combination of pollen, moisture and rapid movement and changes in air pressure leads to the bursting of pollen grains. This creates much smaller particles carrying the allergens that can be inhaled deep into the lungs (pollen itself is too large to be inhaled into the lungs). This can lead to dramatic and serious asthma attacks, in those who have not taken their asthma medications. (source Asthma Australia )
If you have hay fever, you may have symptoms including:
a blocked or runny nose (rhinitis)
itchy eyes, nose, throat and roof of your mouth (palate)
headaches caused by a stuffy nose
These symptoms can make it difficult for you to concentrate or sleep properly. If you have hay fever symptoms all year round, you may also be allergic to house dustmites, pet hair and moulds. This is called perennial allergic rhinitis.
In Melbourne, Hayfever Symptoms mainly occurs on warm days in spring and early summer when strong winds from the north or west increase the amount of grass pollen to more than 50 grains/m3 of air that is breathed. Levels of 600 grass pollen grains/m3 of air occur in very wet years. Pollen from ryegrass is the main culprit identified in causing hay fever. Ryegrass produces over 0.5 t/ha of pollen particularly laden with the types of proteins that cause allergic responses in susceptible people. Ryegrass is found in lawns and turf used in home gardens, roadside verges, parks, sporting fields and tracks. Pollen from a range of other grasses, weeds and trees also contributes to allergic reactions. In addition, non-pollen causes, such as fungal spores and house dust mites may also cause such reactions.
(source Australia Government, Department of the Environment)