Top 3 causes of hay fever symptoms during spring


Are you part of the one in five who suffer from seasonal hay fever?

The weather is warming up, which usually means bad news for hay fever sufferers. In fact, one in five Australians and New Zealanders[1] suffer from seasonal hay fever! Learn about the top three causes and what you can do about them …


1) Pollen

Pollen is a fine powder produced by male plants and a major contributor to seasonal hay fever symptoms. In fact, about 95 per cent of hay fever sufferers are allergic to pollen[2]! It can also be responsible for a number of other allergic conditions, such as asthma and eczema.

The majority of plants pollinate in spring, which is why the warmer months are so challenging for hay fever sufferers. And the most problematic pollens are produced by trees, grasses and weeds, as these are generally lightweight and spread easily by the wind (they can even cause adverse reactions in people living a long way away from the source!).


2) Plant phenolics

Phenolics are naturally occurring chemicals that help determine plant’s taste, colour and smell, and play a major role in defending them against pests and pathogens. However, an adverse reaction to some airborne phenolics may also contribute to the symptoms of seasonal hay fever, asthma and/or some skin conditions.


3) Terpenes

Terpenes help determine a plant’s characteristic odour and taste, as well as a variety of other biochemical processes. They’re emitted by the leaves of conifers, eucalypts and other resinous (sticky) trees and grasses, and can also be found in essential oils, perfumes and many cleaning products. Terpenes may spark allergy symptoms – such as upper respiratory problems and skin irritations in some people.


What you can do about it


Pollen seasons can last for several months, so hay fever triggers can be quite difficult to avoid. But you can reduce your exposure by:

  • Staying indoors as often as you can, especially on windy days
  • Keeping windows closed at home and in the car
  • Avoiding window or ceiling fans
  • Using recirculating air conditioning while driving
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes (if outdoors)
  • Avoiding parks and gardens
  • Avoiding mowing the grass and wearing a mask or staying indoors if someone is mowing close by

If you’re sensitive to terpenes, you may also react to:

  • Essential oils, perfumes and incense – as terpenes are the primary ingredient
  • Herbs and spices –such as allspice, anise, basil, black pepper, capers, catnip, caraway, cardamom, chamomile, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, ginger, horehound, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, tarragon, thyme and turmeric can be high in terpenes
  • Resins, copals, turpentine and balsams – the resins used to make varnishes and adhesives are also high in terpenes
  • Natural rubber – residual traces of terpenes are found in latex
  • Vitamin A
  • Cleaning products: particularly those containing d-limonene (a derivative of orange peels) or pinene (Pine-Sol)
  • Insecticides
  • Wood products


Try our natural hay fever treatment

Anti-histamines are commonly used to treat hay fever symptoms as they block the release of histamine. But, over time, your body can build up a tolerance and they lose their effectiveness.

At Health & Wellness Australia & Auckland (HWA), we use an alternative technique called muscle testing (or kinesiology) to help identify your hay fever triggers. Following testing, you can work with your practitioner to address your sensitivities using a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association

Technique (PAT). PAT is a non-invasive, holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to environmental triggers that may be causing or exacerbating your hay fever symptoms.

Our Naturopaths may also recommend supplements, herbs and lifestyle advice to help you achieve the best long-term results.


Want to know if PAT is right for you? Get in touch!

Send our practitioners a question using our Ask a practitioner service, and you’ll get a call-back or reply straight to your email inbox.

You can also request an appointment with one of our experienced PAT practitioners in one our clinic locationsNorth Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth or Auckland – by:

  • using our Request an appointment service
  • calling our head office on 1300 853 023 (Aust) / 09 479 5997 (NZ), Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm (EST).


This fact sheet is intended as general information only. PAT cannot cure hay fever – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage hay fever-related symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

[1] ASCIA. Is it allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

[2] NHS. Hay fever facts.

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