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CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
COUNSELLING IN PRACTICE
often recommended for treatment of
allergic rhinitis due to pollen or dust
mite allergy when6:
• symptoms are severe
• cause is difficult to avoid (such as
• medicines don’t help or cause adverse
• people prefer to avoid medicines.
Do I need to take the medicines
Significant treatment burden occurs
with allergic rhinitis due to patient
non-adherence whereby fewer than
half of prescribed doses of intranasal
corticosteroid medicine are taken.
Adherence to therapy in allergic rhinitis
may be poor due to the cost of drug
treatment and due to early cessation or
reduction in therapy when a patient’s
that fewer than half of prescribed doses
of intranasal corticosteroid medicine
Can hay fever be prevented?
The ideal way to prevent allergic rhinitis
is allergy avoidance. However, this is
not always achievable in everyday life.
Measures such as the following should
be taken to minimise exposure as much
House dust mites – one of the biggest
causes of allergies and are often
breeding in even the cleanest house.
A combination of the following methods
may help to limit house dust mites8,9:
• Bedding – dust mites are often
concentrated in bedding. All bedding,
including pillow covers, mattress pads
and sheets should be removed and
washed regularly on a hot cycle and
dried in a hot dryer. Laundromats
may offer larger machines if required.
Bedding should be replaced
regularly and can be replaced with
air-permeable occlusive mattress and
bedding covers, which act as a barrier
to dust mites and their droppings.
• Minimise carpet – wood or hard vinyl
floor coverings are ideal.
• Wash or vacuum household items
such as soft toys and cushions
• Vacuum – use a vacuum cleaner fitted
with a high-efficiency particulate
• Dusting – when dusting, use a clean
damp cloth to avoid spreading
allergens further with dry dusting.
Mould spores – spores released by
moulds can be an allergen and may
be released due to sudden rise in
temperature in a moist environment
such as when central heating is turned
on. Ways to prevent mould spores
• ensure home ventilation to reduce
• open windows and doors when
showering or booking and use an
• dry any dampness or condensation
inside the home as soon as possible.
Pets – a patient may have allergic
rhinitis due to a combination of saliva,
dander (skin particles) and fur from pets.
In order to reduce allergic rhinitis due to
pets, the following steps may be taken8,9
• Ideally pets should remain outside
as much as possible. However, if pets
do enter the home, allergic rhinitis
sufferers should aim to limit them to
certain parts of the house (preferably
non-carpeted areas), and avoid
allowing pets into the areas of the
home where most time is spent,
such as the bedroom.
• Regularly wash and groom pets as
well as any soft furnishing that the pet
has been on.
• When visiting friends with pets,
pharmacists may suggest that
a patient takes a preventive
antihistamine prior to the visit.
Also, where possible, friends or
relatives with pets should avoid
dusting or vacuuming on the day
of your visit to avoid disturbing
Pollens – another potential trigger
for symptoms of allergic rhinitis are
pollens from grasses, weeds and
trees. As pollination can happen at
different times of the year, based
on the particular plant or tree, most
patients will commonly have an allergic
rhinitis flare during spring or summer
but this can happen at any time of
the year. There are some simple ways
lists below that a pharmacist may
advise a patient to prevent or reduce
• at certain times of the year when
pollen counts are high, those affected
should minimise time spent outside
in grassy areas and also avoid
drying bedding and clothes on an
• more pollen will be in the air during
mid-morning and early evening
therefore those suffering from
allergic rhinitis should be advised
to stay inside during these times
• wraparound sunglasses may help to
protect the eyes from pollen
• avoid mowing the lawn as this will
cause disruption of pollens and grass.
Of note, throughout Australia pollen
numbers are lowest on the east coast
due to the prevailing winds coming over
the sea and the protection from westerly
winds by the Great Dividing Range.
For allergic rhinitis in children – several
primary prevention strategies include3:
• exposure to a daycare setting before
the age of two years
• smoking cessation in smoking
• exclusive breastfeeding during the
first three months of life
• exposure to solid foods only after the
sixth month of life.
Where can I find more
• The Australasian Society of Clinical
Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)
is the peak professional medical
organisation for allergy and clinical
immunology in Australia and New
Zealand. At: www.allergy.org.au
• NPS MedicineWise is an independent,
not-for-profit and evidence-based
organisation which can provide
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