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Managing Allergies in Summer

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Summer brings the return of beach days, sunny walks, warm weather, ice cream... and pollen! For the 19% of Australians1 who suffer from hayfever (Allergic Rhinitis) and other allergies - unfortunately Summer can bring more bad than good.

Through careful management of triggers and symptoms, it is possible to safely manage allergies in Summer.

What causes allergies in Summer?

There are several factors that contribute to an increase in allergy triggers during the Australian Spring and Summer months.

  1. Pollen from grasses, which reaches moderate to high levels in the Summer months
  2. Mould spores, which grow in warm damp conditions
  3. Dust mites, which thrive in warm conditions in fabrics and carpets in the home
  4. Real pine Christmas trees, which collect high amounts of pollen from other plants before they are cut down, which can trigger asthma and hayfever symptoms once you bring them into the home
  5. Bushfire smoke, which can trigger both asthma and hayfever symptoms
  6. Hot humid air, or hot dry air can trigger asthma, especially when moving from a hot humid weather outside into a cool building

How to avoid exposure to allergens in Summer:

These are 6 of the easiest ways to avoid allergy triggers (also called allergens) over the warmer months:

  1. Avoid exercising near freshly mown grass when grass spores have been stirred up
  2. Avoid going outdoors on hot, windy days when pollen is travelling through the air
  3. Upon your return indoors, wash and change your clothes to remove any dust, pollen or pollution
  4. Regularly wash sheets and bedding to prevent any mould or dust particles building up
  5. Clean air conditioning filters regularly so you’re not breathing in any particles that could trigger allergies
  6. Keep your bathroom well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of mould

What are the best ways to manage allergies in Summer?

  1. Be smart about where you spend your Summer holidays
  2. Salt water is a natural decongestant, and often the vegetation is minimal near the coast, so choose to spend your days swimming at a beach or ocean pool. Avoid bushwalks and remote camping in Spring and Summer when the pollen count is high.

  3. Check a pollen information calendar before heading outdoors
  4. Spring and Summer is when the grass pollen is typically highest, and even more so on windy days. Choose to enjoy the outdoors when the wind speed and the pollen count is low, and stay indoors with your windows closed when the pollen count is high. Pollen levels are usually highest before 9am, so try and run errands mid-morning. Visit pollenforecast.com.au to find daily pollen and mould counts for different Australian states.

  5. Be prepared to manage allergies when heading outdoors
  6. Keep hayfever medication (oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops) with you, to reduce or manage symptoms. Wear a hat and sunglasses to help stop allergens such as pollen, dust and pollution from getting into your eyes. Wear a face mask (when possible) to prevent allergens from getting into the nose and mouth. Kleenex® Allergy ComfortTM tissues will help manage a runny nose or watery eyes, and a hand sanitiser will help rid the hands from dirt and dust.

  7. Stay hydrated
  8. Dehydration can play a role in allergies, so it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and lessen your symptoms where possible.

All content and advice are provided on behalf of Sensitive Choice, an initiative of the National Asthma Council Australia, in partnership with Kleenex®. The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.

Kleenex® Allergy ComfortTM Tissues are free from lotion, dye & fragrance, and are dermatologically tested with reduced linting for hay fever and allergy sufferers. Grab a box today from Woolworths, Coles, Amazon or your local IGA Store

Sources:

  1. https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergic-rhinitis-hay-fever-and-sinusitis/pollen-allergy
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