CAN HAYFEVER MAKE ASTHMA WORSE?

Yes, hay fever can make your asthma worse. Another word for hay fever is “allergic rhinitis.”

Most people with asthma have hay fever too, the two conditions are linked. Hay fever affects 80 percent of people with asthma1.

Asthma and hay fever both involve inflammation and sensitivity in your airways – in your nose and lungs. Uncontrolled hay fever symptoms can worsen asthma symptoms.  If left unchecked, this can seriously impact your quality of life or that of your child. It can also put your health in danger.

It is important to treat the allergies in your nose, as well as treating asthma in the lungs.

Watch this video to learn about Asthma Management:

 

WHAT IS HAY FEVER?

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to particles found in the air breathed in through your nose. The particles could be pollens or grasses, dust mites, mould or animal dander. These are called ‘triggers’.

Breathing in a trigger causes your body to react with an “immune response” in the lining of the nose. This causes the inside of your nose to become red, swollen, and sensitive. When this happens, you can experience hay fever symptoms.

WHAT DOES HAY FEVER FEEL LIKE?

THE MOST COMMON SIGNS OF HAY FEVER ARE:

  • Itchy nose or eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose
  • Throat clearing or coughing to clear the throat
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Always feeling like you have a head cold
  • You may feel tried

You do not need to have all these symptoms to have hay fever. You might only experience a few.

OTHER SIGNS OF HAY FEVER

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Poor concentration
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Hoarse voice
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Recurrent sinus infections in adults, causing facial pain or pressure
  • Frequent ear infections in children

Some people may experience hay fever at certain times of the year like spring or summer due to pollens in the air. Other people experience these symptoms all year round and need treatment all year.

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, tell your doctor. Your doctor can help you figure out if hay fever is causing them, and what the best treatment for you is.

If you live in Victoria or South Western New South Wales, you may also be at risk of  thunderstorm asthma.

Remember: it’s important to treat both your asthma and hay fever together, to stay well. Learn About Hay Fever Treatment

For information and support about asthma or hay fever call our Asthma Educators on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462).

 

 


REFERENCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION

  1. Bousquet J, Khaltaev N, Cruz A, Denburg J, Fokkens W & Togias A 2008. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) 2008 update (in collaboration with the World Health Organization, GA(2)LEN and AllerGen). Allergy 63:8-160
  2. Australian Asthma Handbook: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au/clinical-issues/allergies/allergic-rhinitis