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Allergic Rhinitis (hay fever)

Allergic rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever) affects around 1 in 5 people (children and adults) in Australia and New Zealand. Despite its common name, allergic rhinitis is not caused by hay and does not result in fever. It is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, such as pollens, dust mite, moulds and animal hair. People who are sensitive to these allergens may then experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Immediate signs or symptoms
  • Runny nose
  • Rubbing of the nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, watery eyes

Obstructive signs or symptoms:

  • Congested nose
  • Snoring

Whilst some of these symptoms may be similar to those caused by infection (e.g. colds and flu), allergy symptoms tend to persist unless treated appropriately.

Some people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma. Better control of allergic rhinitis has been shown to result in better asthma control in both adults and children. Emerging evidence shows that untreated allergic rhinitis can increase the risk of developing asthma.

For more information on allergic rhinitis click here

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