Spring fever

How to combat springtime fevers and allergies.

Spring fever

Spring is here and as well as bringing longer, sunnier days, the warmer breezes also tend to blow in springtime fevers.

One in five Australians suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Though not restricted to spring, symptoms of hay fever are caused by the excess pollen particles from trees, flowers and grass floating around in the air, penetrating the airways of the lung. Symptoms include a runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, throat and ears, and nasal congestion.

Native Australian trees and flowers produce little pollen. Interestingly, most of the reactionary pollen comes from exotic, imported trees, such as the White Cypress Murray Pine, which flowers in late July, and grasses, such as perennial ryegrass and couch or Bermuda grass.

How to combat allergic rhinitis:

  • take antihistamine tablets, nose sprays and eye drops, or in severe cases, steroids
  • avoid pollen release peak periods, which according to doctors are during 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm
  • shower after you’ve been outdoors during peak pollen-release periods
  • avoid smoky environments, perfumes and insect sprays, household chemicals and other irritants
  • allergy-proof your home, especially during spring. Clean dust in carpets, bedding, furniture, and mould from the kitchen and bathroom.

Another allergy which crops up around springtime is atopic dermatitis. Present in adults and particularly children, eczema can lay dormant during the winter months and appear when it starts to get warmer, when the body adjusts to the changing weather. Eczema can be triggered by a vast range of things, from dry skin, bacterial infection, food intolerances, temperature changes, and inhalant allergens, spurred by hay fever.

How to combat atopic dermatitis:

  • avoid chemical-based irritants such as soaps, perfumes and moisturisers
  • use a topical steroid cream from the pharmacy
  • apply wet dressings. As eczema-affected skin dries out and becomes cracked, applying a wet bandage soaked in warm water for 15 minutes can offer relief to itching and pain.
  • avoid scratching, which will make the eczema flare up and worsen.

Find out more about allergic rhinitisat and atopic dermatitis the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy.

Do you have your own tips for combating springtime allergies? Please share them with us.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    15th Sep 2014
    We simply keep our Glutathione levels raised. No serious flu problems, no allergies and no ageing issues. We do NOT use traditional means of raising Glutathione such as Capsules, Ingested or Induced products - they are all expensive and rather ineffective compared to what we would recommend.
    16th Sep 2014
    would love the details as to what you do for this problem as I unfortunately have the problem many thanks
    15th Sep 2014
    AH! AH !! CHOOOO!!!
    15th Sep 2014
    Well then RobH. What would u recommend? Please share.
    16th Sep 2014
    Hi Lori,
    We would go along with anything that can raise Glutathione levels. However, reading through many of the 90,000 studies performed on raising this level there are some problems with most methods. All studies would appear positive toward raising the levels. A concerning fact is that the level is only raised for a very short period and effectiveness of ingested or induced products can be severely reduced by the effects of stomach acids and the inability to reach all cells in the body. To understand some of this I have provided the two links below. The patches reported in these studies are available worldwide.

    From the positive feedback we have from thousands of individuals in our group including many medical professionals in many countries, the message is that these patches could be a consideration for a host of conditions. We are not providing contact details here else people presume we are using this site to sell something? This message is simply to provide something to consider and if you search I am sure you will find the patches available somewhere. BobH. Adelaide.
    16th Sep 2014
    Thankyou for your replies.
    15th Sep 2014
    Do you have a list of foods?
    16th Sep 2014
    I use Cavilon Durable Barrier cream it lasts for ages does not wear off etc & is not drug based goo. It is made by the 3m company & is available on line not cheap but if used properly & not wasted it lasts quite a while. so not as expensive as it seems.
    16th Sep 2014
    I meant to say for my skin problems from which I have suffered for years without knowing what to do, except for the drugs doctors kept trying to pass off on me.
    16th Sep 2014
    I highly recommend Olive Leaf Extract to build up immunity and ward of colds and flu's. Cured me of recurring mouth ulcers. Comvita also have a good range of medical skin creams etc. Great Australian Products.
    A. N. Onymous
    16th Sep 2014
    Comment 1 of 2.
    I posted this comment on 3rd January at a YLC article about getting rid of hayfever. I repeat it now.

    I have suffered from hayfever (and other allergies) since I was a child. As a child I was given antihistamines which made me sleepy for a few days until I adjusted to them, and this lasted until the hay fever season ended and the asthma season began. Every three or four years the doctor would change the antihistamine because I had been using it for so long that it was no longer effective. Because I had so many allergies I had different reactions -- some things caused me to have a runny nose and/or sneeze, and others gave me eye problems (sore and/or itchy and/or burning, again depending on what was causing it).

    About thirty years or so ago I was having a particularly bad time and even thought about contacting the DPI to see if the farmers in our rural north Queensland area were spraying with something new. (I never did, but I did meet others who were having similar experiences) At the time I read in one of those free magazines at the health food stores that Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and that its antihistamine effect is "intensified in the presence of zinc, B6, and magnesium" (no quantities given or proportions listed).

    As I was taking 500 mg of Vitamin C three times a day and a mutivitamin which had B6 and magnesium in it but not zinc, I went looking for zinc tablets. I found a combination tablet (zinc, B6, and magnesium) and figured it wouldn't hurt to have extra B6 or magnesium and that perhaps this tablet had the right proportions to combine with my Vitamin C.

    I can still remember how bad I was (runny nose) when I started taking the tablets. As secretary for our church I was taking minutes at a meeting -- write a sentence or two in shorthand, grab a tissue, blow my nose, throw the tissue away, write a sentence or two in shorthand, grab a tissue, ... etc. etc. etc.

    After a few days on the vitamin combination, my nose gradually dried up. One morning when I woke up and opened my eyes, they were so dry that the eyelid going over the eyeball sounded like sandpaper. This didn't last; as soon as I blinked a few times and my mucous membranes got to work, everything was normal. At that point I continued my Vitamin C but gradually cut down on the B6-zinc-magnesium until I was taking it only once a day for three or four days a week until the hay fever season ended. In subsequent years I followed the same procedure and have been free of runny nose problems ever since.

    However, I have sometimes wondered if my increasing eye problems every hay fever season are a result. It's as though removing one outlet (the runny nose) enabled the allergen to concentrate completely on the other outlet (my eyes which had always suffered but not so much).
    A. N. Onymous
    16th Sep 2014
    Comment 2 of 2.
    I have not posted this previously.

    About three weeks ago my eyes began to bother me. For three or four days I suffered from burning and/or itching and/or pain and/or mucous oozing from them. When the mucous is at its worst, in the morning they appear to have a thin layer of toothpaste squeezed into the bottom of the lower lid.

    When my eyes are at their worst with burning, I find that sleeping with cold teabags on them reduces the burning and swelling. (I save the teabag after making each cup during the day and keep them in the refrigerator in pairs in tiny jars or plastic sandwich bags. I always have half a dozen or more on hand. )

    Last year I discovered by accident that rubbing my eyelids with a smear of Vaseline when they were bothering me helped enormously. Perhaps that thin protective layer prevented the reinfection or repetition that occurred when I rubbed or wiped them (or removed the thin layer of mucous).

    When they started to bother me again recently, a friend rang me about something. While I was talking with her I mentioned that my eyes were really playing up after no problems for months and that I guessed this was the beginning of the spring allergies. I said that it might be something flowering locally or that the wind might be bringing something in from another area. Something she said triggered my memory of the Vaseline (which I had forgotten, especially as last year had been my first experience with it – accidentally, as I mentioned above).

    I said to her, “Hold on a minute,” and got some Vaseline and applied it. During the next few minutes as we talked, I could feel the improvement. I used the Vaseline for the next couple of days with great success. Since then they have been bothering me only slightly. When the next plant flowers, I’ll remember!

    (If you decide to try this, don’t grab a jar of Vicks instead of Vaseline, as I did once last year by mistake!)

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