Hay fever is very common and it’s caused by many different things. People often get it during spring, when there are lots of airborne pollens and particles around. But really you can get hay fever at any time of the year. Cane growers suffer a lot from hay fever because they are exposed to cane dust and when the cane flowers, grain dusts can also cause it.
Common symptoms are:
• Blocked or runny nose
• Teary, itchy eyes
When to get help
Sometimes hay fever will clear up without treatment. But if it doesn’t you should get help if:
• Your hay fever makes it hard for you to work or sleep
• You feel really miserable
• You are producing thick green mucus, as this could indicate you have sinusitis, (infection in your sinuses) which needs treatment.
Where to get help
You can ask your pharmacist or doctor for medication. Make sure you tell them what sort of work you do as some hay fever medications can make you drowsy and that can be dangerous if you are using farm machinery or driving!
- Wear an Australian Standards compliant mask if you are working with mouldy organic materials such as hay, mouldy grain or silage or in a dusty environment. Fitting the mask correctly is essential, as the presence of facial hair such as beards or even being unshaven can reduce the effectiveness of the mask.
- Hose down dusty areas such as sheep or cattle yards prior to mustering stock to reduce the amount of dust.
- When slashing or mowing large dry areas of grass try to avoid the dust load or wear a mask.
References used for this topic page