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The wattle’s in bloom – hayfever remedies?

By johnboy - 13 July 2009 40

[First filed: July 10, 2009 @ 10:25]

Canberra’s wattles are popping open their little balls of golden pollen goodness.

It’s nice to get these harbingers of spring as we slough through the cold dark days.

But it’s not good news for the hayfever sufferers who will soon be sniffling the day away and at risk of being carted away for swine flu testing.

If you are afflicted by hayfever, what do you find works to alleviate your suffering?

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
The wattle’s in bloom – hayfever remedies?
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spin462002 5:10 pm 15 Jul 09

I suffered terribly with hayfever every spring/summer for nearly forty years here in Canberra. Then three years ago I stopped eating wheat and gluten products. (I was skin prick tested as a child and was shown to be allergic to all the grasses native to Canberra but not especially to wheat)

Within a few days I felt a wonderful sense of new energy and I lost 12kgs over the next month although I did not exercise. (I guess it was fluid) I have never looked back and I have never had hay fever again either. There are so many gluten free products on the market now it is easy to avoid it.

It’s worth a try if you really suffer like I did, and I save a fortune on medications and my life is so much better now.

Strangely, I am allergic to the aloe vera tissues a pp referred to, thankfully I don’t need shares in Kleenex any longer 😉

GardeningGirl 11:02 pm 12 Jul 09

I didn’t know that Ant 🙁

ant 10:50 pm 11 Jul 09

Yeah, they should be testing it, for sure. Whenever I hear people declare that the peanut allergy is “new”, I feel sad. It’s not that new. It’s just that so many kids didn’t survive childhood with it. No one had a clue. I missed man landing on the moon because some stupid woman had fed me a peanut butter sandwich.

gun street girl 10:39 pm 11 Jul 09

Don’t quote me on that; I don’t often have a reason to be prescribing EpiPens, so I might be mistaken as to how strict the PBS criteria are. Nevertheless, thankfully the vast majority of allergies don’t precipitate anaphylaxis – so handing out EpiPens to all and sundry could pose a problem (or, at the very least, a few Pulp Fiction moments).

ant 10:32 pm 11 Jul 09

That’s interesting. I was prescribed the vial of adrenaline by my old Dr, at ANU. I had to practise on an orange… Had to use it a few times, too, before eschewing Chinese restaurants for ever.

Quite frankly, if you’re born with the allergy, you don’t want to have to have “proof” of an anaphalactic attack because the chances are, you won’t survive it anyway.

As for rhinitis, Canberra does bring it on because of all the deciduous trees, probably the pines and cypress, and the dreaded rye grass.

gun street girl 10:10 pm 11 Jul 09

ant said :

gun street girl said :

FYI, Ray Mullins isn’t the only immunologist practicing in the ACT – certainly isn’t a lone guru who sits atop a mountain, controlling all the EpiPens in the region! 😛

There’s other allergists? ddin’t know that. For years doctors would say I should have an epi-pen, but no one ever got me one, and after my current GP went through the rigmarole (she’s brilliant), I realise why. Holy crap. (For years I made do with an Aids bus needle, and a vial of adrenalin, and then they invented epi pens).

My supply is now safe, he did some prick tests on my arm, adn one went ballistic, and it was the peanut one!

Mullins is good, I like the way he’s studying allergies as well as treating them.

Yup, there’s a whole department of Immunology (complete with its own ongoing research – all a part of academic medicine) at TCH. Challenge tests and desensitisations are fairly commonplace procedures (in amongst more hardcore hospital based immunology work).

If memory serves, EpiPen authority scripts can also be doled out by paediatricians and respiratory physicians, though I seem to also recall that PBS authority also requires that the patient has needed adrenaline and an ED presentation for anaphylaxis in the past.

sunshine 10:03 pm 11 Jul 09

rhinocort and horseradish and garlic tablets works for my family….tastes gross but works

ant 10:01 pm 11 Jul 09

gun street girl said :

FYI, Ray Mullins isn’t the only immunologist practicing in the ACT – certainly isn’t a lone guru who sits atop a mountain, controlling all the EpiPens in the region! 😛

There’s other allergists? ddin’t know that. For years doctors would say I should have an epi-pen, but no one ever got me one, and after my current GP went through the rigmarole (she’s brilliant), I realise why. Holy crap. (For years I made do with an Aids bus needle, and a vial of adrenalin, and then they invented epi pens).

My supply is now safe, he did some prick tests on my arm, adn one went ballistic, and it was the peanut one!

Mullins is good, I like the way he’s studying allergies as well as treating them.

Olwen 8:28 pm 11 Jul 09

I take a vitamin made up of garlic, horseradish and vit C and if I take it all year round it really helps reduce the severity of hayfever – and is also very effective at keeping colds from developing into worse in the cold months.

Hayfever can be torture and can really ruin spring/summer (depending on your poison) in Canberra. ‘Apparently’ Canberra is one of the worse places in the world for allergy sufferers. I would love to be desensitised… or to move to the coast where I breath much easier.

gun street girl 8:05 pm 11 Jul 09

ant said :

He’s the guy who controls access to the epi-pens (GPs prescribing them have to go through him to get a pen via teh PBS), and tests people, and devises mg’t plans. Chap by the name of Mullins. He also is studying allergies, and runs desensitisation programs, but we decided for me it wasn’t really necessary, the one I did in the 80s is working quite well.

FYI, Ray Mullins isn’t the only immunologist practicing in the ACT – certainly isn’t a lone guru who sits atop a mountain, controlling all the EpiPens in the region! 😛

andym 7:26 pm 11 Jul 09

+1 for Prof Mullins.

Funny I never had hayfever until I moved to Canberra from central west NSW. I used to blame all the pine trees around Canberra (ever see the clouds of pollen being blown out of them on a hot summers day?). Funnily my hayfever hasnt seemed so bad since the summer of 03….maybe its all in my head (lol)

Gin02 6:32 pm 11 Jul 09

Actually warm salty water works by rinsing the pollen out of your sinus’s and as such removes the allergen.

I also swear by the green telfast once a day.

bellaa 12:39 pm 11 Jul 09

Thanks ant and baldilocks (great name btw)! I think I will look in to that. Mainly for vanity’s sake 🙂 Sick of the red nose and dark circles under my eyes. I could pay with the savings in makeup!!

baldilocks 11:45 am 11 Jul 09

I had the desensitising program from Prof Mullins some years ago. Fantastic results – about the best medical treatment I’ve had. Used to have several months each year having bad sneezing fits – no more and I probably sneeze no more than a couple of times each season. Feel as though I have gained a couple of extra months living each year.

As I am also allergic to anti histamines, I didn’t really have much choice as to what to do.

From memory, you start out having injections every week for about three months, then every fortnight, then every month, (then 3 months?)with the program lasting for about 3 years.

Some patience required, but results worth it.

Injections were done by the nurse at my local GP. I think the medicines cost about $150 each 6 mths (or was it per year), with the regular injection cost covered by medicare.

Highly recommended & Prof Ray Mullins (at John James) is excellent.

ant 10:07 am 11 Jul 09

bellaa said :

What does a desensitisation program consist of?? I have a heap of allergies – none of them serious, just annoying. Grass is the worst. I would love to think I could be desensitised!

I can’t remember if it’s oral, or injection. He’s the guy who controls access to the epi-pens (GPs prescribing them have to go through him to get a pen via teh PBS), and tests people, and devises mg’t plans. Chap by the name of Mullins. He also is studying allergies, and runs desensitisation programs, but we decided for me it wasn’t really necessary, the one I did in the 80s is working quite well.

Although the perfumes thing is becoming an issue, some cause instant migraines and when you ask the wearers to wear less of it, they get offended.

ant 10:01 am 11 Jul 09

housebound said :

For many people, they find that their hayfever is at its worst on those dry days with a north-westerly wind. This is probably the grasses – especially phalaris and rye grass. .

Yep, blowing in from the SW slopes and Riverina. I’ve recently acquired several bags of Phalaris Australia and a pasture mix containing some Rye, but what can you do? These are grasses taht will grow in this dry environment. Although the Phalaris has been pathetic so far.

I plan to also get some Poa Tussock seed, it’s pricy but that’s the main grass growing here. That doesn’t seem to cause hayfever.

Timberwolf65 7:24 am 11 Jul 09

mp2615 said :

I agree. Native species are not the problem. For what it’s worth I used “sabba dilla” (phonetic spell) and it worked a treat. cheap, natural and readily available from the Hierophant in Griffith.

The Hierophant is a great place, They sell many a magical potion there.

housebound 1:53 am 11 Jul 09

Gin02 said :

warm salty water up the nose daily works a charm!

That’s disgusting, and it doesn’t really work.

#18 – People lump all native species together, usually not really thinking about the native grasses. They’re probably no more or less evil than their introduced grassy cousins, but there just aren’t the same amount flowering at any given time (unless, I guess, you went out to the Alps or the Mitchell grasslands).

Gin02 11:02 pm 10 Jul 09

warm salty water up the nose daily works a charm!

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