“Hay” is the dried grass you find on farms, and “fever” is “netsu” in Japanese. The allergic reactions in hay fever are sneezing, runny nose, and blocked nose, as well as slight fever with a hazy feeling in your head, so that’s why they use the name “fever.” It’s an allergy that occurs as a reaction to various kinds of plant pollen that becomes airborne in spring, rather than an allergy to hay, so it really is “kafunsho” (“pollen illness”). Commercials for hay fever drugs appear even on TV every spring.
I haven’t had the test to see which plants’ pollen I am allergic to, but once when I went to the plant section at a home improvement store, I couldn’t stop sneezing and my throat got itchy, so I think I must have been reacting to some sort of plant there because there wasn’t any hay. A friend who never gets hay fever in Japan told me that when they went hiking in the mountains of Melbourne, they seemed to react to some type of plant, they could barely talk for the stream of sneezes, and their eyes were watering, so they discovered just how tough it is for people who get hay fever.
Australia is surrounded by lush greenery in the great outdoors where lots of various kinds of plants grow, so pollen is always in the air, but even people are surrounded by more flowers and trees than in Japan, for some reason the hay fever symptoms are unexpectedly milder than in Japan. All the same, the symptoms seem to be gradually getting worse every year nowadays, compared to when I first arrived in Australia about 20 years ago.
Personally, I think the hay fever might be a reaction to pollen mixed with air pollution. I think surely there wasn’t hay fever in the old days, when air pollution wasn’t bad and when there wasn’t so much concrete everywhere. There were much more lawns 20 years ago on the Gold Coast, where I live, and there were fewer buildings and cars, but bit by bit properties have been developed and there have been increases in the population, cars, and buildings, so I think maybe that has meant the pollen is reacting to the air pollution...
And this year my own hay fever has been worse than last year. I can usually get by without taking drugs, but this year there have been days when I have had to take drugs.
Of course, it might have been my physical condition...
I just hope my hay fever symptoms don’t get any worse.
Even on the Gold Coast a short drive brings you to pasture here and there where cattle and horses are raised.