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Spring Hay Fever

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a common and debilitating disease affecting around 1 in 5 people in Australia and New Zealand. Despite its common name, it is not caused by hay and does not result in fever. Even though it was known that pollen rather than hay was the cause as far back as the early 1800's, the term hay fever stuck. Pollen from grasses, weeds or trees, released in spring, can trigger symptoms of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma. It is that time of year.

hay fever

Symptoms are caused by the body's immune response to inhaled pollen, resulting in chronic inflammation of the eyes and nasal passages. People with allergic rhinitis often suffer from fatigue due to poor quality sleep. It can impair learning and performance in children, result in more frequent absenteeism in adults and reduced productivity, and therefore can cause considerable impairment to quality of life.

Around 8 in 10 people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, and this can make asthma more difficult to control.

To help people who suffer from pollen induced allergic rhinitis, a project known as the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership was established to provide a standardised, readily accessible and reliable pollen count network to provide current local information to patients and doctors for the major Australian cities.

This project is supported by a grant from the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia. See

Read more: Spring Hay Fever

AIFA's youngest fundraisers

The Daniel boys from Queensland are AIFA's youngest fundraisers, selling plants recently to raise money for allergy research.

Liam is 13 (he has environmental allergies only), Ewan is 11 (he's allergic to tree nuts, shellfish, squid and dust mites) and Hamish is 4 (he's allergic to peanuts, egg and dust mites).

Daniel boys

Read more: AIFA's youngest fundraisers

First National Allergy Strategy launched

National Allergy Strategy coverAustralian children and adults with allergy are often being poorly managed, with resources being wasted and their health and wellbeing at risk - but the launch of the new National Allergy Strategy has solutions. 

The National Allergy Strategy has been developed over the last 12 months involving scores of experts and over 50 stakeholder groups, including consumers, who have sifted through the evidence, consulted widely and produced coherent, achievable options for governments, health organisations, food industry and employers. Led by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as the leading medical and patient organisations for allergy in Australia, the Strategy aims to address public health issues relating to the rapid and continuing rise of allergy in Australia and improve the health and quality of life of people with allergic diseases, their families and carers, and the community.

For a copy of the National Allergy Strategy go to

Read more: First National Allergy Strategy launched

National Allergy Strategy Launch Speech

Anna Burke, MP speaking in Parliament about the launch of the National Allergy Strategy.

More than 4 million Australians are affected by allergic disease. Last week saw the launch of the National Allergy Strategy, which if implemented across Australia has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for people living with allergies and anaphylaxis. 

Read more: National Allergy Strategy Launch Speech

Terry's Rottnest solo swim for peanut anaphylaxis

TerryTerry's young daughter Nina has an allergy to peanuts and may develop life threatening anphylaxis after exposure to them.

On February 21, 2015, Terry bravely attempted the Rottnest swim to raise money for allergy research and to help inform people about anaphylaxis. The conditions were tough and Terry gave his all. He also raised an amazing $3480 for AIFA. It was a team effort of family and friends.

Terry started a conversation about allergy with his family and friends. He will always hold a special place in AIFA's history as one of our first motivated individual fundraisers. Cheers Terry.

Read more: Terry's Rottnest solo swim for peanut anaphylaxis

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