What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

You should take your kid to the GP if you’re worried about her hay fever symptoms, or the symptoms get in the way of your child’s daily life.

How to treat hay fever yourself

There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.

But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high.


  1. wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  2. hold windows and doors shut as much as possible
  3. vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  4. put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  5. stay indoors whenever possible
  6. shower and change your clothes after you own been exterior to wash pollen off
  7. purchase a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter


  1. do not spend too much time exterior
  2. do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  3. do not dry clothes exterior – they can catch pollen
  4. do not cut grass or stroll on grass
  5. do not hold unused flowers in the home
  6. do not let pets into the home if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

Allergy UK has more tips on managing hay fever.

A pharmacist can assist with hay fever

Speak to your pharmacist if you own hay fever.

They can give advice and propose the best treatments, love antihistamine drops, tablets or nasal sprays to assist with:

  1. itchy and watery eyes and sneezing
  2. a blocked nose

Find a pharmacy

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  1. your symptoms are getting worse
  2. your symptoms do not improve after taking medicines from the pharmacy

What causes hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Pollen is a fine powder from plants.

Check the pollen forecast

Media final reviewed: 21 April 2017
Media review due: 21 April 2020

Sheet final reviewed: 21 December 2017
Next review due: 21 December 2020

What is the link between allergic rhinitis and asthma?

Allergic rhinitis has been found to be an extremely common trigger for asthma in both children and adults.

What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

Allergic rhinitis can also exacerbate asthma, and it can make the diagnosis of asthma more difficult.

Around 80 per cent of people with asthma suffer from allergic rhinitis, and around one in four with allergic rhinitis has asthma.

There is now extremely excellent evidence to support the thought that asthmatics who glance after their upper airways well need less asthma medication and fewer hospital or GP visits.

When treating both asthma and allergic rhinitis, the first step is to discover out the cause of your problem.

Once the causes own been identified, management regimes can be put into put to minimise the impact of the allergy, and this then reduces the need for medication.

How do you diagnose allergic rhinitis?

Your doctor will confirm the specific allergens causing your rhinitis by taking a finish symptom history, doing a physical examination, and performing skin prick tests.

When does allergic rhinitis develop?

Allergic rhinitis typically develops in childhood. It is part of what we call the Allergic March, where children first develop eczema in infancy, sometimes followed by food allergy, and then go on to develop allergic rhinitis and then asthma.

The onset of dust mite allergy occurs often by the age of two, with grass pollen allergy beginning around three to four years of age.

Tree pollen allergy develops from about seven years of age.

It is not unusual to develop hay fever during adulthood.

What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

It can take as few as two to three seasons to become sensitised to pollen, but it depends on the individual.

What causes hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, typically when it comes into contact with your mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Pollen is a fine powder from plants.

Check the pollen forecast

Media final reviewed: 21 April 2017
Media review due: 21 April 2020

Sheet final reviewed: 21 December 2017
Next review due: 21 December 2020

What is allergic rhinitis?

Hay fever is the common name to describe allergic rhinitis and involves a recurrent runny, stuffy, itchy nose, and frequent sneezing.

It can also affect your eyes, sinuses, throat and ears.

Love any other allergy, allergic rhinitis is an inappropriate immune system response to an allergen – most commonly home dust mite, pet, pollen and mould. The allergen comes into contact with the sensitive, moist lining in your nose and sinuses and sets off the allergic response.

Hay fever is often considered a nuisance rather than a major disease and most people will self-treat. However, recent studies own revealed that hay fever has a huge impact on quality of life.

How is allergic rhinitis treated?

It is useful to identify your triggers and attempt and avoid them.

This can be difficult.

Pets: Make certain you hold it exterior and never let it in the bedroom. It is never simple trying to decide on a new home for a pet, but in some cases this might be the best option. Even after you own removed your pet from your home, the allergens remain in furnishings for endless periods afterwards and can cause symptoms. You will need to thoroughly clean your walls, floors and carpets to remove the allergen.

Dust mites: Home dust mite reduction measures include mite-proof covers for the mattress, duvet and pillows.

Removing items that collect dust from the bedroom will assist. A excellent quality vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter for the exhaust air is essential to ensure that allergen is not disseminated in the atmosphere. Bedding should be washed frequently in water hotter than 55ºC. If you own soft toys, freeze them overnight and air in the sun.

Pollen: It is hard to avoid pollen, however you can avoid going exterior when pollen counts are high. The quantity of pollen in the air is highest:
• In the morning
• Outside
• On windy days
• After a thunderstorm

See our pollen calendar for more information.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be any combination of itching in the back of the throat, eyes or nose, sneezing, runny eyes or nose, and blocked nose.

A person may own any or every of the following:

  1. breathing through the mouth
  2. frequent earaches, fullness in the ear, ear infections or hearing loss
  3. dizziness or nausea related to ear problems
  4. stuffy nose every the time or during specific seasons
  5. nasal voice because of blocked nasal passages
  6. repeated nosebleeds
  7. reddened, pebbly lining in the lower eyelids
  8. chronic freezing without much fever
  9. watery discharge from the nose every the time, occasionally or during certain seasons of the year
  10. rabbit-like movements of the nose
  11. snoring
  12. headaches because of pressure from inside the nose
  13. a horizontal crease across the nose as a result of constant rubbing
  14. bouts of sneezing, especially in the morning
  15. frequent throat-clearing
  16. dark circles under the eyes as a result of pressure from blocked nasal passages on the little blood vessels.

    Also known as "allergic shiners".

What is the impact?

About 20 per cent of the general population suffers from rhinitis. Of these people, about one third develops problems before the age of 10.

The overall burden of allergic rhinitis is better understood when you consider that 50 per cent of patients experience symptoms for more than four months per year and that 20 per cent own symptoms for at least nine months per year.

Those affected by hay fever suffer more frequent and prolonged sinus infection, and for those who also own red, itchy eyes, there is the risk of developing infective conjunctivitis due to frequent rubbing.

Persistent symptoms and poor quality sleep can result in lethargy, poor concentration and behavioural changes and impact on learning in young children.
Allergic rhinitis may predispose people to obstructive sleep apnoea, due to the upper airways collapsing during sleep.

This results in reduced airflow, a drop in oxygen levels and disturbed sleep.

Patients with allergic rhinitis also suffer from more frequent and prolonged respiratory infections, and asthma has been shown to be more hard to control unless allergic rhinitis is also managed.

What causes allergic rhinitis?

The most common triggers for people with allergic rhinitis are pollen, dust mite, pet and mould allergens.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is generally triggered by wind-borne pollen from trees, grass and weeds.

Early spring symptoms point to tree pollen, while nasal allergy in tardy spring and summer indicates that grass and weed pollens are the culprits. And overlapping the grass season is the weed pollen season, which generally starts in tardy spring and extends through to the finish of summer.

In New Zealand the seasons are not extremely distinct and they vary throughout the country because of the diverse climates. The season starts about one month earlier at the top of the North Island than the bottom of the South Island.

Thus the hay fever season is not extremely well defined.

Allergic rhinitis that persists year-round (perennial allergic rhinitis) is generally caused by home dust mites, pets, or mould. People with allergic rhinitis are often allergic to more than one allergen, such as dust mite and pollen, so may suffer from symptoms for months on finish or every year round.

Irritants such as strong perfumes and tobacco smoke can aggravate this condition.

Foods do not frolic as large a role as had been thought in the past.


Non-sedating antihistamine tablets or liquid are useful in alleviating some of the symptoms of rhinitis.

They are helpful in controlling sneezing, itching and a runny nose, but are ineffective in relieving nasal blockage. They can be used alone or in combination with other medications, such as nasal sprays.

Corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) nasal sprays reduce the inflammation in the lining of the nose. They work best when used in a preventative manner, just love preventers for asthma. For example, they may be used for weeks or months at a time during an allergy season.

What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

Enquire your doctor about the appropriate medication for your condition.

Decongestant nasal sprays can be used to unblock the nose, but should not be used for more than a few days at a time. Prolonged use may result in worsening of the nasal congestion.

Eye drops: The eye problems that sometimes happen with allergic rhinitis may not always reply to the above medications. Eye drops containing decongestants alone or in combination with antihistamine are available for mild to moderate eye problems.

Eye irritation is one side effect. Prolonged use of decongestant eye drops can also cause rebound worsening when stopped. Some brands of eye drops can be used preventatively and are safe to use for prolonged periods — enquire your doctor for more specific information.

Saline washes may assist to clear your nose and soothe the lining of your nose. These are available from most pharmacies.

Desensitisation, or immunotherapy, is used to 'turn off' the abnormal response of the immune system to an allergen if medication does not work. It is mainly used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergic asthma to pollen, mould, home dust mite and pet allergen, as well as to control severe reactions to insect stings.

To start, a extremely dilute dose of the substance you are allergic to is istered by injection once or twice a week.

This dose is gradually built up over three to four months on average, until a maintenance dose is achieved. Shots are then given monthly for at least three years.

This method of treatment is the only one that deals with the underlying cause of allergic rhinitis. Not everyone benefits from treatment, however the vast majority of patients show at least some degree of improvement. Enquire your allergy specialist about whether you are a excellent candidate for immunotherapy.

Sublingual immunotherapy is another method, where drops of the allergen solution are taken under the tongue. It is not widely used exterior of Europe.

This information is available as a fact sheet.

December 2008

This fact sheet is based on information available at the time of going to print but may be subject to change.

It is significant to remember that we are every diverse and individual cases require individual medical attention. Please be guided by your GP or specialist.

Acknowledgments: We would love to Associate Professor Rohan Ameratunga, Clinical Immunologist, Auckland Hospital, for assistance in writing this information.

What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

This fact sheet is also based on information provided by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy and the National Asthma Council Australia.

About hay fever

Hay fever is a type of allergic reaction. It happens when pollens and dust mites in the air get into your nose and eyes, which can cause inflammation. It generally affects the nose, face, sinus passages, eyes and throat.

Seasonal hay fever happens when your kid has an allergy to pollens.

These are little particles released into the air by specific grasses or trees. Your kid breathes these pollens in, and they irritate the lining of his eyes, sinuses and nasal passages.

Perennial hay fever happens every year circular and is caused by other triggers. These could be dust mites in the home, animal fur or hair, and mould spores. If your kid gets hay fever every year circular, she’s probably allergic to one of these triggers.

Hay fever is fairly common.

What are the symptoms of hayfever allergy

Around 15% of Australians get it.

Your kid has a greater chance of having hay fever if you, your child’s other parent or your other children own an allergy. Teenagers are more likely to get hay fever than younger children.

Hay fever is also called allergic rhinitis.

Treatments for hay fever from a GP

Your GP might prescribe steroids.

If steroids and other hay fever treatments do not work, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy.

This means you’ll be given little amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to slowly build up your immunity to pollen.

This helpful of treatment generally starts in the winter about 3 months before the hay fever season begins.

Hay fever symptoms

Common symptoms of hay fever include:

  1. blocked nose
  2. sneezing
  3. itchy eyes, nose, roof of the mouth and back of the throat
  4. runny nose and sniffing
  5. mouth breathing
  6. red, sore and watery eyes.

Hay fever isn’t generally serious.

But if your kid is extremely sensitive to pollens in the air, he can develop other symptoms love wheezing,hives and rashes, especiallyeczema.

Hay fever can also lead to poor-quality sleep, tiredness and poor concentration during the daytime.

Check if you own hay fever

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  1. itchy, red or watery eyes
  2. headache
  3. pain around your temples and forehead
  4. sneezing and coughing
  5. earache
  6. loss of smell
  7. a runny or blocked nose
  8. itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  9. feeling tired

If you own asthma, you might also:

  1. have a tight feeling in your chest
  2. be short of breath
  3. wheeze and cough

Hay fever will final for weeks or months, unlike a freezing, which generally goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.