The Definitive Guide To Hay Fever First Aid In Australia

Hay Fever

Table of Contents

When Is Hay Fever Season?

Hay fever, unlike other conditions, does not have a specific age group or gender as it is indiscriminate. In Australia’s environment, one in five Australians suffers during the hay fever season, which often peaks around the warmer months in October until April.

But it does tend to be seen in Australians of working age, young children and the elderly more often than not. Most of the allergic rhinitis cases in the country tend to come out of Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) due to the climate.

If hay fever is left untreated, the symptoms could lead to more serious health complications such as asthma or a severe allergic reaction. First Aid Course Experts or FACE do have First Aid training courses that teach you how to respond in case of emergencies. Therefore, it would be best to treat hay fever quickly prevent any other reactions. Learning to identify the causes of hay fever and how to treat the symptoms when they appear can decrease the risk of any allergy attack and prevent any asthma acts.        

What Causes Hay Fever?

Hay fever is caused by an inflammation in the nasal mucous membrane when it contacts an allergen. When in the airways, allergens make the body react with allergic antibodies. Allergic rhinitis is the medical name for hay fever. It refers mainly to the nose and how hay fever’s most common symptoms are in the nose.

In Australia, grass pollen is the primary cause of hay fever, and grass pollen is worsened by the weather, like a windy day when pollen grains are in the air. Hay fever can also be infected by allergens such as dust, house dust, mites, fungal spores, animal dander, and air pollutants. It depends on what someone is exposed to and how their allergies cause them to react.       

What are the Symptoms of Severe Hay Fever?

Pollen has many allergens that may be benign, but in people with hay fever, their bodies will react to the allergen by releasing inflammatory cells. The body reacts to the pollen the same way it would to viruses or harmful bacteria. Some reactions to hay fever or symptoms are:   

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • An itchy throat
  • Red, watery or irritated eyes
  • Increased production of mucus and tears

People with asthma or anaphylaxis can get the worst symptoms as hay fever symptoms can evolve into an asthma attack if left untreated. The signs that hay fever could be getting worse is if there is:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Tightness or heaviness in the chest or any other kind of discomfort

What are the Best Approaches to Treating Hay Fever immediately?

The best treatment for hay fever is prevention by quickly treating the symptoms and being aware of the spread of pollen grains or other allergens that could be present in the air you are inhaling. Wear a mask if you have any doubts or notice the onset of symptoms.

First Aid Course Experts or FACE recommend that:

  1.  Rinse eyes in with clean, cold water to reduce irritation in the eyes as the water flushes out pollen grains
  2. Taking antihistamines that are non-sedatives will calm down swelling, irritation and sneezing. You should keep antihistamines in your first aid kit and keep them well stocked and up to date.
  3. Doctors or pharmacists can recommend over-the-counter medicines that can help with your hay fever, such as eye drops or corticosteroid nasal sprays to calm your eyes and nose. Saltwater nasal douches or sprays can also be helpful. 
  4. Your doctor could also recommend the use of an intranasal steroid spray, and this medication is to treat persistent cases of runny or blocked noses. 
  5. If hay fever is escalating to symptoms that are reaching an asthma attack or aphylactic shock. Then you should refer to your proper anaphylaxis or asthma plan or start first aid on anyone with the symptoms. You should then call Triple zero (000) or take the person to the nearest hospital or emergency room.

To Avoid Exposure To Allergens And Developing Hay Fever Symptoms, Make Sure To:

  1. If you are prone to hay fever, stay indoors as much as you can. Take care on windy days or after thunderstorms as this is when pollen grain and other types of allergens become air born.
  2. Look out for the pollen forecast in your local area. A pollen forecast such as from The Weather Channel can help see how much pollen is around. The pollen forecast section of the weather zone can give you up-to-date information on the spread of pollen and any increased risks of exposure.
  3. When going outdoors, you can add additional nasal barriers, like using Vaseline just under your nose (and above your lip). This can keep pollen grains from going into your airways by keeping it attached to your skin.
  4. Additional layers of eyes protection, such as sunglasses, can help protect your eyes from airborne pollens.
  5. If you have a pet with fur like a cat or a dog, then beware that pollen can attach itself to their coat in warmer months. Remember to wash and clean your pet to clear them of pollen grains and keep them looking nice and feeling loved.
  6. Fabric can also hold pollen grains, so remove and then wash the clothes you have worn outside before using them again. Also, remember to often clean items like your bed sheets, pillowcases, and tablecloths to prevent pollen build-up.

Combat Hay Fever Season in Australia with FACE

Hay fever is very common in Australia, but vigilance and care can lessen the symptoms and help prevent things like asthma attacks or anaphylaxis. Knowing the first aid protocols in these situations helps you and those in need of your help. For more information on what to do in an emergency or First Aid situation, look at a FACE course to get a certification in first aid. 

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