READING: Is hayfever making you feel irritable?

Living my life

Is hayfever making you
feel irritable?

Many Australians are burdened by hayfever, but researchers suggest that speaking to a health professional might help you find relief.

Two min read

People often underplay their hayfever symptoms.1 But living with hayfever can have a significant emotional impact.2,3

Hay fever and mood

Hayfever can make people feel irritable, annoyed, frustrated and grumpy.

In one survey of Australians with hayfever, only 35 of the 1060 participants said their symptoms had no impact on their mood.2

Reluctant to go to work

Hayfever symptoms may also make people:

  • Reluctant to go to work
  • Less affectionate with partner or children
  • Feel they need to explain that they are not sick
  • Feel sorry for themselves
  • Unable to participate in everyday activities

Impact on daily life

Almost all participants in a large Australian study said their hayfever had a negative impact on their enjoyment of social activities and relationships, with eight out of ten of those with a partner saying their symptoms had an impact on their romantic relationship.3

Hayfever and self-esteem

Some people feel embarrassed about having a runny nose and blowing their nose, which may make them feel unattractive around others. The symptoms can also make people believe their professionalism is compromised.

Seeking help

Hayfever experts believe people should be encouraged to ask a GP or pharmacist for advice. One of the concerns is that many Australians may be missing out on the best treatment if they choose their own medicines without asking for help.1


  1. 1. Tan R, Cvetkovski B, Kritikos V et al. The Burden of Rhinitis and the Impact of Medication Management within the Community Pharmacy Setting [Internet]. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2018. [cited 2019 Aug 5].
    Available from:
  2. 2. Sharp TJ and Seeto C. The Psychosocial Impact of Self-Reported Morning Allergy Symptoms: Findings from an Australian Internet-Based Survey. J of Allergy. [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2019 Sept 28];Article ID 710926. (Study funded by Schering-Plough Pty Ltd, Australia – now MSD).
    Available from:
  3. 3. Smith P, Hellings P, Scadding G et al. Impact of Allergic Rhinitis on Health-related Quality of Life: Results from an Australian Survey [Poster]. ASCIA Conf 2016. [cited 2019 Oct 27].

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