Are you one in nearly 4.5 million people in Australia who suffer from hayfever? At least you know you’re not alone! They say misery loves company, but 4.5 million mates won’t make your hayfever symptoms any less miserable. So, why do so many of us have these symptoms, and will they ever go away?
What is hayfever
‘Hayfever’ is a common term for seasonal allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies. When you are allergic to something in the environment, exposure to that substance causes the release of histamine—a chemical used by your immune system to fight off infection. It’s this histamine that causes your hayfever symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes.
What am I allergic to
Hayfever in Australia is typically caused by pollens, many of which are not native to our country:
- Pasture grasses imported from the Northern Hemisphere produce more pollen than native grasses, and it spreads great distances by wind.
- Pollen from exotic trees, planted in Australia for their colourful leaves, is often spread by birds and bees.
- Weeds such as ragweed and asthma weed have made their way to Australia, mostly accidentally, through shipments of grass seed and other products.
How long does hayfever last?
If hayfever is ‘seasonal’, then surely these symptoms will go away soon, right? Well, the real question to ask is: ‘How long does hayfever last in Australia?’ Because, depending on where you live and which pollens you are allergic to, you could be in for a very long season, indeed.
Melbourne has a relatively short grass pollen season, with the worst being in October and November, though the pollen count is high. In Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra, grass pollen is moderate all spring, and higher as it turns to summer. If you live in Darwin or Perth you’re going to be dealing with grass pollen nearly all year long, although it’s at its worst in the summer, and in late autumn/early winter.
As for tree pollen, expect the worst in the last part of winter through early spring, throughout Australia, with weeds of various pollen loads peaking year-round.
At the end of the day, all these factors are primarily driven by the weather, so the best thing to do is always be prepared!
What to do?
You have probably realized that waiting for hayfever season to end is not the ideal solution. Fortunately, you have options when it comes to giving your symptoms the flick. The makers of ZYRTEC® know how you feel—we get hayfever, too. That’s why we are the allergy experts, and why we are so proud to offer a full line of effective products that are fast-acting, and long-lasting.