top of page

Hay fever: Symptoms, triggers and treatments

Hay fever symptoms

Hay fever is the common name for a condition called allergic rhinitis, which means an allergy that affects the nose.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • sneezing

  • a runny or congested nose

  • itchy ears, nose and throat

  • red, itchy or watery eyes

Complications of hay fever may include:

  • headaches

  • poor concentration

  • daytime tiredness

  • sleep disturbance

  • asthma which is more difficult to control

Hay fever triggers

Most people associate hay fever with spring, when airborne grass pollens are at their peak. This is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or spring hay fever.

However, hay fever can occur at any time of the year. When symptoms occur all year round, this is known as perennial allergic rhinitis. Perennial allergic rhinitis is usually caused by a reaction to allergens around the home, such as:

  • mould or fungi

  • animal hair or fur

  • dust mites

  • cigarette smoke

  • perfume

Managing hay fever

You should see a doctor if your symptoms aren’t responding to over-the-counter (OTC) medications. You can ask your GP for an allergy test if you’re interested in learning the cause of your allergy. Your GP will need to consider your medical history together with the results of allergy tests, which may require referral to a specialist.

Some options include a nasal saline solution or a hay fever injection, may help relieve the symptoms of hay fever. Ask your GP for advice.

Hay fever and thunderstorm asthma

Grass pollen season can trigger asthma and hay fever. It also increases the risk of thunderstorm asthma, which can be sudden, serious and life-threatening.

If you experience wheezing or coughing as a result of hay fever, our doctors recommend making an appointment to manage your symptoms and minimise your risk of thunderstorm asthma. Call us on 03 9509 5922 or click here to book an appointment if you'd like to see one of our doctors.

For more information:


bottom of page