Shepparton Medical Centre doctor Derek Wooff says he is anticipating an increase in hay fever symptoms this year following a moist winter and increased grass growth.
‘‘I haven’t seen a particularly large number of patients (as of yet) but people are a lot better at self-managing these days,’’ he said.
Facebook users on The News page have complained about hay fever this spring with many suffering from the resultant symptoms for the first time.
‘‘I never get hay fever but this year I’ve got it bad,’’ Jody-Lee Blake wrote.
Amy Lundberg wrote: ‘‘I don’t usually get hay fever but this year is unbelievable, (I’ve gone through) two boxes of tissues in two weeks, sneezing all day, puffy eyes, I’m over it.’’
Pharmacist Laura Grasso from John Anderson Pharmacy in Shepparton said she had seen an increase in sales of tablets and nasal sprays during the past month.
Ms Grasso said the more popular products were Nasonex, a steroid nasal spray, and new generation anti-histamines Zyrtec, Telfast and Claratyne.
‘‘Another good alternative is humidifiers which purify the air in your home and get rid of dust and pollen,’’ she said.
‘‘If medication is required it is important be compliant with instructions to get the full benefit; one-off doses won’t provide enough relief.’’
Dr Wooff said he encouraged hay fever sufferers to reduce their exposure to pollens and allergens.
‘‘Close windows, wear sunglasses, regularly wash your face and put Vaseline around your nose and mouth,’’ he said. ‘‘After you’ve tried these simple things and if over-the-counter medication doesn’t work then seek professional help.’’