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ABC Pharmacy

Quercetin, a flavonoid, naturally contained in plant sources such as various fruits and vegetables, is known for its antioxidant activity, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides its natural forms, the plant extract is the main component of many anti-allergic supplements. These properties have been studied in the treatment of respiratory allergies, where it has been shown to reduce or inhibit histamine and other allergic and inflammatory substances released from mast cells. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see if this
product may be suitable for you.


Antihistamine nasal sprays are effective in relieving runny nose, sneezing, itching or blocked nose caused by allergies. It is suitable for seasonal and non-seasonal allergies.

Antihistamine nasal sprays:

Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays (INCS) have a potent action on inflammation when used regularly (like asthma preventer medications). These need to be used regularly and with careful attention to the way in which they are used. Different brands of INCS vary in strength and effectiveness, so it is important to read the labels and check details with your pharmacist or doctor.

Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays:

Antihistamine tablets or syrups (non-sedating) help to reduce symptoms (sneezing, itchy and irritated eyes), but they are not as effective in controlling severe nasal blockage and dribble. The advantage of antihistamines is their flexibility; you can take them when you have symptoms, and avoid them when you are well. Antihistamine eye drops can also be helpful in controlling watery
eyes due to allergies.

Antihistamine tablets or syrups:

Although medications do not cure allergies, they can definitely help you relieve the symptoms. It is important to use the correct medication depending on the type of hay fever you suffer from. Seek advice from our pharmacists or your doctor about medications that will relieve your symptoms.

Our Pharmacists' recommend:

• If possible, stay indoors until after midday, particularly in the pollen season and on windy days.
• Avoid going out during, or after thunderstorms, particularlywhen pollen counts are high.
• Wear sunglasses, carry tissues, shower when you arrive home and rinse your eyes with water.
• Do not mow grass and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing is unavoidable, wear a mask or take a non-drowsy antihistamine.
• Keep windows closed at home and in the car. Use recirculating air conditioning in the car.
• Try to plan holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the seaside.
• If landscaping at home, research plants less likely to trigger allergic rhinitis or asthma. If you are sensitive to particular weeds or trees
that are outside your bedroom window, have them removed.

Tips for reducing pollen exposure:

Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat are all hallmark hay fever symptoms.

If you suffer from them, you are certainly not alone – 3 million Australians (12% of the population) struggle through spring and summer in a similar way.

Hay fever is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, such as pollens, dust mites, moulds and animal hair. These normally harmless and naturally occurring substances can cause an allergic reaction in some people. These substances are called allergens and different allergens affect different people.

When people with hay fever are exposed to particular allergens, their body mistakenly “thinks” this is a threat and triggers an allergic reaction. Inflammatory cells quickly release mediators such as histamine and that’s when symptoms kick in. Our immune system, like everything else changes as we age, therefore, hay fever can develop at any age. People are also more likely to develop hay fever if they suffer from asthma, eczema, other allergies and/or have family history of hay fever.

There are 2 types of hay fever:
1. Seasonal
a. Spring Hay Fever - possible allergens: tree pollens
b. Summer Hay Fever - possible allergens: grass and weed pollens
2. Perennial

Occurs all year round. It could be due to indoor allergens like dust mites, cockroach droppings and animal dander (flaky skin) or chemicals present in cleaning products.

Grass pollens are the major outdoor allergen trigger for hay fever in Australia. The timing and severity of the grass pollen season varies considerably between years and places. Sydney has the temperate grass pollen season in spring but also secondary peaks in summer. These late summer peaks in grass pollen are likely to be due to subtropical species.

Your pharmacist or doctor should be able to diagnose hay fever from a description of your symptoms. However, if your symptoms are severely affecting your day-to-day function, your doctor may recommend to have your allergy history obtained and the allergens you react to identified by an allergy specialist.

Skin prick tests and/or blood allergen specific IgE tests are then conducted, if appropriate, to identify the allergen(s).

Information from allergy test may help your doctor develop an allergy treatment plan that includes allergen avoidance,
medications or specific treatment.

Hay fever - why do you have it?

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