Hayfever on the rise

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Hayfever on the rise

Asurge of allergies has hit the region, prompting an increased number of people to seek relief from symptoms this season.

Chemist King Mount Gambier retail manager Tanya Jacob said the chemist was seeing more people than this time last year seeking allergy medications.

“We have got a lot of customers coming in that have never had hay fever before who are actually having hay fever this year, which gives us the indication that it is quite bad,” she said.

“We are selling antihistamine tablets along with nasal sprays and eye drops to go along with it because the tablets are not giving the full relief.

“Over the last couple of years it is getting worse, whether it is because we were wearing masks during COVID and our systems are not quite back to normal potentially, because even cold and flu is particularly worse this year.

“We got into masking up and not being able to pick up things because we all had masks on and our immune systems are not as strong as what they were before COVID.”

Ms Jacob said the main symptoms of allergies were a runny or blocked nose, pain in the sinus area, lots of sneezing, sore, itchy eyes, and rashes.

However, it is not only people who are usually prone to hay fever experiencing allergies; it is affecting even those who usually get through the allergy season unscathed, as Ms Jacob said the chemist was seeing people who do not live in Mount Gambier and do not usually get hay fever seeking allergy medication.

“As soon as they drive into Mount Gambier their hayfever kicks in,” she said.

Ms Jacob said cases were seen more in adults than children, however if people had a child displaying allergy symptoms, there was treatment available for all ages, whether it is a newborn to those aged six months and above.

Ms Jacob said the best treatment for allergies is a combination of antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal spray.

She said prevention is key and suggested those who are hay fever-prone to take their medication before going to sleep, so the medication is already working in the morning when they wake up.

For those who have symptoms, it can sometimes be difficult to determine whether the cause is allergies, or if it is something more sinister like a cold, flu, or COVID.

Ms Jacob said although there is not a lot of difference between the two, a cold, flu or COVID is usually also accompanied by symptoms such as body aches and pains.

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