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19 Oct 2015

The sneezy season is upon us, and hayfever sufferers are beginning to gear up for another round of itchy eyes and runny noses. So here’s how to minimise your symptoms from the onset, and how to get reduce hayfever symptoms if it has already set in.

The best way to tackle hayfever is to start planning before the season is underway. This means starting any diets, new medications or air-filtering systems at least a fortnight before spring really begins, as it’s always easier to prevent a reaction than it is to cure your symptoms once they take hold.

Avoid pollen

It seems like a no-brainer, but avoiding pollen is the most effective way to reduce your hayfever symptoms. Closing doors and windows will significantly reduce the pollen count inside your house. Where possible, try to work in an air-conditioned environment, as the filtered air is much kinder. You may also consider installing an electrostatic air filter in your car’s ventilation system, and using the air conditioning, rather than rolling down the windows, when you’re driving. 


Many sufferers have discovered that altering their diet, particularly in season, can have a positive effect on the severity of their symptoms. Try reducing foods which increase mucous production (milk products, sugar and excessive starch) and increasing your intake of foods which have natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. These include fish, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, garlic, onion and all vegetables except tomatoes. Drinking two litres of water per day can also be effective in relieving symptoms.


Antihistamines are the ‘go-to’ medications for most hayfever sufferers. They relieve (to a degree) all hayfever symptoms, from itchy eyes to runny noses. Nasal sprays and eye drops can also complement antihistamine use. In extreme cases steroid tablets or injections can be used for a short period of time. These are very effective, and ideal for those special occasions when you need to shine, such as weddings or important job interviews.

Local honey

Medical studies have reported that exposing someone with an allergy to small amounts of the allergen may desensitise the sufferer and lessen the effects of the allergy. Eating locally produced honey, which is made from the same pollens which are floating around in the air exacerbating your hayfever, has been reported as an effective way to lessen symptoms.

Chinese blackberry tea

Chinese blackberry tea, or Chinese sweet tea, is a popular natural remedy for hayfever. Try taking it twice a day for two weeks, to see if your symptoms improve. Chinese blackberry tea can be found in most chemists with a natural remedies section.

Above all else, a visit to your GP is the best starting point, to share your symptoms and seek his or her advice on which of the above might work well in your particular case.

This article was supplied by Australia’s leading retirement website YourLifeChoices www.yourlifechoices.com.au.

This article provides general health advice. For any specific health concerns contact your doctor.