The Kleenex® Guide to

Hay fever & Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, the good news is that you are not alone. Allergies are one of the world’s most common health conditions. Fortunately, for most people, they can be managed, treated or even prevented.

We’ve put together a guide to help you to understand hay fever and allergies, but remember to always consult your health professional if you have any questions or concerns about your symptoms.

Facts you need to know about

&

Hay fever

For many people, sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose signal the start of the dreaded hay fever season. This seasonal condition usually kicks off in spring and the symptoms we experience are also part of what we call ‘seasonal rhinitis’.

If you get hay fever, you’re far from alone. It’s one of the most common health conditions on the planet.

Hay fever, or ‘seasonal rhinitis’ is a condition that generally rears its stuffy head in Spring. If you get hay fever, you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common health conditions on the planet.

The cause? You’re allergic to plant pollen and/or mould spores that become airborne during the hay fever season of spring, summer and for an unlucky few, in early winter as well.

On the first encounter with an allergen, the hay fever sufferer’s immune system mistakenly identifies the allergen as an enemy invader and gets busy producing antibodies to fight it off.

When the allergen appears again, these antibodies grab it, triggering the release of chemicals into the bloodstream that cause inflammation and other uncomfortable hay fever symptoms.

Allergies

If you experience hay fever-like symptoms all year round, you may have what’s called ‘perennial allergic rhinitis’. This condition is caused by an allergy to substances that are always present, not just in hay fever season, such as house dust mites, pet dander, or certain chemicals or foods.

Fortunately, for most people, this isn’t a serious problem and can be quite easily managed.

No one knows for sure exactly what causes allergies. What we do know is that an allergy is our immune system’s reaction to a usually harmless substance that doesn’t bother most other people.

You may have an allergy to one thing, or many things, that you come into contact with either by eating, touching or inhaling.

There are lots of different causes of allergic reaction and symptoms range from mild to potentially life-threatening – especially for asthmatics, as an allergy can trigger asthma attacks. In fact, up to 80% of asthmatics** get hay fever, which can make asthma attacks harder to control.

Hay fever

Hay fever, or ‘seasonal rhinitis’ is a condition that generally rears its stuffy head in Spring. If you get hay fever, you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common health conditions on the planet.

The cause? You’re allergic to plant pollen and/or mould spores that become airborne during the hay fever season of spring, summer and for an unlucky few, in early winter as well.

On the first encounter with an allergen, the hay fever sufferer’s immune system mistakenly identifies the allergen as an enemy invader and gets busy producing antibodies to fight it off.

When the allergen appears again, these antibodies grab it, triggering the release of chemicals into the bloodstream that cause inflammation and other uncomfortable hay fever symptoms.

Hay fever symptoms

Firstly, it’s important to know that there are two main types of hay fever:

1. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is widespread in spring, early summer and autumn, when the air is thick with pollens from trees and grasses, and mould spores that may have been dormant in the cooler months.

2. Perennialallergic rhinitis happens all year round and can be caused by house dust mite, dander and mould spores. It’s made worse by tobacco smoke, perfumes and air pollution.

Regardless of the type, however, hay fever symptoms usually include:

  • Sneezing, sometimes in fits of up to 10 or more sneezes.
  • Clear runny discharge or dripping from a stuffed up nose.
  • A feeling of having plugged or stuffed ears that isn’t helped by swallowing.
  • Watery bloodshot eyes (your eyes may also be puffy and sore to touch).
  • Itching of your nose, soft palate, ear canal, eyes, and/or skin
  • Tiredness and trouble sleeping

You are more likely to suffer from hay fever symptoms if you:

  • Have a family history of hay fever, asthma or eczema
  • Were exposed to cigarette smoke as a child

Did you know?

  • Over 3 million Australians report symptoms of hay fever*
  • Hay fever is most prevalent in the 25 –34 years age bracket*
  • Slightly more females than males get hay fever*

Hay fever treatment

Always consult your health professional if you have questions about your symptoms and how to treat them, but fortunately, for most people, hay fever is easily managed.

One of the traditional ways to reduce the effects of hay fever is to simply stay inside on high pollen days so that you avoid coming into contact with airborne allergens.

Unfortunately, for many of us, this is not ideal or practical.

Many of the pharmaceutical hay fever remedies, such as saline or steroid nasal sprays and antihistamines, are highly effective medicines that are either prescribed by your doctor or recommended by a pharmacist.

Be prepared for hay fever season by keeping Kleenex Tissues in handy locations. Pop a Kleenex Pocket Pack into your handbag, backpack, and the kids’ schoolbags. For runny noses, use Kleenex Special Care tissues  with Aloe Vera. They have 3 plies of Kleenex softness with Aloe Vera to help soothe a sore red nose.

Allergies

No one knows for sure exactly what causes allergies. What we do know is that an allergy is our immune system’s reaction to a usually harmless substance that doesn’t bother most other people.

You may have an allergy to one thing, or many things, that you come into contact with either by eating, touching or inhaling.

There are lots of different causes of allergic reaction and symptoms range from mild to potentially life-threatening – especially for asthmatics, as an allergy can trigger asthma attacks. In fact, up to 80% of asthmatics** get hay fever, which can make asthma attacks harder to control.

Allergy symptoms

Symptoms from allergic reactions mostly strike those parts of your body that come in contact with the ‘enemy’ substance, including:

  • Itchiness in your nose, eyes, throat and roof of your mouth
  • Clear runny nose
  • Watery red eyes
  • A feeling of pressure and puffiness in your sinuses
  • Ears feeling ‘full’
  • Hives on your skin
  • Facial swelling
  • Inflammation/swelling at the site of contact
  • Eczema and skin rashes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma attacks
  • Feeling faint and floppy
  • Swelling in mouth and throat

Why do allergies occur?

Your body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight off parasites, viruses, infections and other harmful invaders. This defence system helps keep you in good health.

Unfortunately, some people’s immune systems mistakenly identify harmless substances (such as pollens) as dangerous. On their first encounter with this ‘enemy’ allergen, their response is to defend the body by creating antibodies to fight it off.

These antibodies attach themselves to the many mast cells in your nose, eyes, and lungs. Here the antibodies wait, ready to deal with the next invasion of the allergen.

When the allergen appears again, the antibodies grab it, triggering the mast cells to release powerful chemicals called histamines.

These histamines can cause a lot of trouble, within minutes of contact. Their activity triggers the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Did you know?

There has been quite a rise*** in the number of people who suffer allergic reactions to everyday substances such as dust, pollens and animal fur. Some allergy risk factors are believed to be:

• Heredity

• Exposure to infectious diseases during childhood

• Environmental pollution

• Allergen levels

• Changes in diet

Types of allergies

Allergy types are classified by the offending allergens, such as:

  • Pollen – from grasses and trees
  • Dust mites – in bedding and other warm parts of the home
  • Mould spores – which can be touched or inhaled when they’re airborne
  • Pet dander – fur and pet hair, shed skin particles, dried saliva
  • Food – common food allergies are peanuts, eggs and dairy
  • Insect stings – insect venom is an injected allergen, with reactions ranging from mild swelling, to life-threatening anaphylaxis
  • Medicines – conventional as well as natural and herbal products. Penicillin is the most common medicine allergy
  • Latex – and some other man-made materials to a lesser extent

These normally harmless substances are called allergens because in some people they cause allergic reactions.

Allergy treatments

The good news is that you don’t have to put up with many of the symptoms of allergies.

Allergy-Treatment

These days there’s a wide range of ways to alleviate allergic reactions, along with huge improvements in the way medical professionals treat them.

Your doctor or pharmacist can help you. You may be surprised by how effective prescription and over-the-counter treatments are in reducing or even removing your allergy symptoms. There are also many natural treatments for allergies, with hay fever remedies being top of the list during Australia’s hay fever season.

If allergies mean you suffer from a runny nose or sneezing, try Kleenex Special Care Tissues  with Aloe Vera–soft, 3 ply tissues to help soothe and relieve a sore red nose. They are also available in convenient pocket packs  so you can always have one on hand whenever allergies or hay fever strikes.

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