Are allergies on the rise?

Published on May 23, 2022

Are allergies on the rise?

Allergic disease currently affects more than four million Australians and is rising in prevalence. 

It is estimated that allergies have been on the rise in Australia over several decades. As there is no cure this has become a significant public health issue.

Australia is often referred to as the ‘allergy capital of the world’. However, Australia’s allergy rates are probably not dissimilar to other developed countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).

How to reduce the risk of allergies in your infant

If your child is identified as being at increased risk of developing allergic disease, it is sensible to try to reduce the risk. While it may be possible that children will develop allergies no matter what precautions are taken, the following suggestions are practical for preventing allergies in children:

  • Breastfeeding — Breastfeeding is recommended for at least 6 months. Continue to breastfeed whilst introducing solid foods from 4-6 months when the infant is ready. Do not introduce solid foods earlier than 4-6 months. If it is not possible to breast feed, use a partially hydrolysed (hypoallergenic) cow’s milk formula in the first 4-6 months of life, commonly referred to as “HA” formula. It is important to note that these formula should not be used if your child already has cow’s milk allergy.”
  • Smoking — Do not smoke during pregnancy and avoid exposing children to tobacco smoke in the home
  • Diet — There is no evidence that restricting a mother’s diet during pregnancy or during breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing a food allergy. Restricted diets during pregnancy or breastfeeding are not recommended.

How do I treat allergies?

Allergies can usually be treated through a range of products including, antihistamines, which stop histamine from attaching to cells and causing allergy symptoms.

Telfast® is a fast (works in 1 hour), non-drowsy oral antihistamine that works to reduce the symptoms of hayfever allergies. If you suffer from hayfever allergies, click here to find a Telfast® product appropriate for you.

For more information, visit the ASCIA website.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

How do I reduce exposure to allergens?

Three common allergens found throughout the home are listed below, with tips on what you can do to reduce your exposure to them.

Dust mites

  • Encase mattresses and pillows in dust mite-resistant covers.
  • Wash all bedding, blankets and soft toys in very hot water (>60ºC) weekly.
  • If possible, replace carpets with tiles, timber or linoleum.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.


  • Keep the bathroom well‐ventilated and dry. Install an exhaust fan if necessary.
  • Water leaks anywhere in the house need to be repaired as soon as possible.


  • Keep pets outside or at least out of the bedroom and living areas.
  • Vacuum carpets and upholstery regularly
  • Always wash your hands after touching your pet.

Do lifestyle factors affect allergies?

A healthy lifestyle can help you manage your allergy symptoms. So, while avoiding allergy triggers is important for managing symptoms, lifestyle choices may also play a part.

  • Prioritise good sleep and relaxation — Getting a good nights sleep helps support your immune system.
  • Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats — Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can play a valuable role in allergy management.
  • Aim for at least a little exercise every day — Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and supports your respiratory system.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.

Learn about which Telfast product may be appropriate for you.


MAT-AU-2102144. Nov 2021.

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