The role pharmacists can play in helping to manage hay fever has been highlighted by new figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showing that about 3.1 million Australians, or 15% of the population, suffer from the condition.
According to AIHW, this makes it one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in Australia.
National President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Grant Kardachi, said despite the alarming figures, the good news was that hay fever can usually be very well managed with medicines, that can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies.
“Hay fever most commonly affects people aged 25–44 and is slightly more common in women than men,” Mr Kardachi said. “Severity can range from mild to severe and can greatly interfere with the sufferer’s sleep, affect their daily routines and have a very negative impact on their quality of life.
“Identifying the triggers for hay fever is often a key to better managing it, and while pharmacists can help patients in this regard, they can also advise on the best medicines to treat their condition. This can include preventive measures such as advising patients to take their medicines the night before forecast high-risk days.”