Hay fever prevention
The key to preventing hay fever is reducing your contact with the allergens behind it.
ASCIA recommends first going to your doctor to determine the cause of your hay fever, to make sure you’re tackling the correct allergen.
Common hay fever-causing allergens include:
You can’t exactly remove pollen from the world, especially during spring. But you can minimise your interaction with it.
ASCIA recommends limiting time outdoors where possible during pollen season (generally September through December, but can vary by location), especially on windy days or after thunderstorms.
You can also track daily pollen levels using tools like Melbourne Pollen, run by the University of Melbourne’s School of BioSciences.
If you can’t avoid the great outdoors, try avoiding activities such as lawn mowing or shower after being exposed to pollen. Wearing sunglasses (to reduce pollen in the eyes) and using recycled air in your vehicle can also help.
Mould doesn’t just look unsightly, it’s hazardous to your health too. Remove visible mould then prevent it from coming back by keeping your house well ventilated, especially in rooms where mould tends to thrive (like bathrooms and laundries).
Sealing your house properly and clearing gutters can also remove the ability for mould to thrive.
House plants are also a sometimes overlooked culprit of mould and mould allergies; make sure yours aren’t cultivating mould in the pot and be wary around compost and mulch.
The less dust in your home, the fewer dust mites you’ll have.
Vacuum and dust surfaces weekly using a damp or electrostatic cloth, though ASCIA notes that vacuuming can temporarily increase the amount of dust mites in the air.
When buying new products for your home, think about how easily they collect dust and opt for those which can easily have dust removed from them. If renovating, think about ways you can further reduce dust collecting in your home – for example, opting for hardwood floors instead of carpet.
If nothing else, make sure you eliminate dust in your bedroom. Vacuum and dust weekly but also be sure to hot wash bedding and opt for dust-mite resistant bedding covers if possible.
It’s not the fur of cats and dogs that can cause people to start sniffling – it’s the sweat and saliva.
These excretions mix with pet hair and can become airborne. In the case of cats, the pet dander allergen can even remain in a location for some time after the animal has left.
Sadly, the best way to combat allergic rhinitis caused by pet dander is to rehome the pet. For many people, that’s not an option (nor should it be), so reducing where the pet can be within the house (in particular, preventing them from going into the bedroom) can help.
Some breeds of cats and dog are less allergenic though ASCIA regards none as truly hypoallergenic.