Hana celeb tissues with Hello Kitty branding

With the hay fever season upon us, and predictions of between three to five times the amount of cedar pollen flying around compared to last year, and with yellow sand from China also paying a visit, this recent survey from DIMSDRIVE Research into hay fever is quite timely.


Between the 6th and 14th of February 2008 10,665 members of the DIMSDRIVE Monitors completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample was female, 1.2% in their teens, 14.9% in their twenties, 35.8% in their thirties, 29.1% in their forties, 13.3% in thei fifties, and 5.7% aged sixty or older.

Pictured above is Hello Kitty-branded Hana (nose) Celeb lotion-impregnated tissues that may or may not prevent redness after blowing one’s nose a lot while suffering from hay fever.

The thing that irritates me the most about hay fever in others is the Japanese reluctance to blow their noses in public, as it is too embarrassing compared to pulling a face as one makes sniffing noises at regular intervals. It’s almost enough to get me over my dislike of MP3 players and drown out the rest of the carriage on the ride home.

I don’t get cedar hay fever fortunately, although I do have a couple of other allergies that usually result in a runny nose and the occassional sneeze.

Last year I looked at a similar survey into hay fever by MyVoice that might be a useful cross-reference.

Research results

Q1: In which seasons do you exhibit hay fever symptoms? (Sample size=10,665, multiple answer)

Spring (to SQ) 40.1%
Summer 4.7%
Autumn 9.6%
Winter 3.8%
Don’t get hay fever (to Q5) 48.9%
Don’t know (to end) 8.5%

Note that 2.5% of the sample get get hay fever, but not in the spring.

For symptoms during spring, by age, on the whole older people were more likely to have hay fever, except for the over-sixty group, where there was a significant drop of over a quarter in the number of sufferers. By region, the worst area was in and around Tokyo, with 47.0% reporting hay fever. The lowest-risk area was the northern isle of Hokkaido, with only 19.2% suffering there

Q1SQ: From when does your spring hay fever usually start? (Sample size=4,274)

From before the start of January 2.1%
From the start of January 2.2%
From the middle of January 2.9%
From the end of January 6.0%
From the start of February 11.6%
From the middle of February 14.0%
From the end of February 16.3%
From the start of March 16.8%
From the middle of March 5.6%
From the end of March 4.9%
From April or later 5.4%
Don’t know, no regular start 12.2%

The next question was to all hay fever sufferers from Q1.

Q2: Which symptoms of hay fever cause you problems? (Sample size=4,543, multiple answer)

Runny nose, blocked nose 89.5%
Itchy eyes, tears, eye mucus 82.3%
Sneeze 76.1%
Drowsiness 34.3%
Tickly throat, itchy throat 30.5%
Fatigue 29.8%
Nasal inflammation (pain, etc) 26.4%
Itchy skin, irritated skin 18.5%
Headache 14.4%
Mild fever 12.5%
Insomnia 11.4%
Other 2.3%
Nothing in particular 0.2%

Q3: From where do you get hay fever information, for example the day’s pollen forecast? (Sample size=4,543, multiple answer)

Television 73.7%
Internet 34.0%
Newspaper 23.2%
Friends, family 9.8%
Hospital, pharmacy 7.9%
Mobile phone internet 4.3%
Radio 3.9%
Email newsletter 2.1%
Other 0.3%
Nowhere in particular 16.4%

Q4: What hay fever-related medicines or other goods do you use? (Sample size=4,543, multiple answer)

Prescription medicine

Eye drops 58.0%
Oral medication 45.1%
Nasal spray (to SQ2) 35.7%
Ointment 5.3%
Vaccination 1.7%
Other medicine 0.4%

Over-the-counter goods

Mask (to SQ1) 55.7%
Throat sweets, gum, etc 30.0%
Air purifier, humidifier 15.7%
Gargle 15.6%
Eye wash 14.9%
Functional tea (tencha、benifuuki green tea, etc) 12.9%
Lotion-impregnated tissue paper 12.3%
Functional foods (yoghurt, etc) 12.1%
Glasses, goggles 11.6%
Throat spray 9.7%
Nose wash fluid 9.3%
Blanket spray 6.4%
Nasal menthol stick, etc 5.2%
Anti-pollon clothing spray 5.1%
Nasal passage widening tape 3.3%
Special soap, ointment 2.1%
Functional drinks 1.9%
Inhaler 1.7%
Nasal passage inflammation treatment device 0.8%
Clothes cover 0.8%
Other 1.5%
Nothing in particular 10.2%

Q4SQ1: When buying an anti-hay fever mask, what points are important? (Sample size=2,530, multiple answer)

Easy to breathe 67.2%
Fits around nose 66.8%
Pollen cannot pass easily 63.6%
Price 55.3%
Doesn’t hurt ears 48.8%
Doesn’t get humid inside mask 41.3%
3D, formed shape 31.3%
Kind to skin 30.3%
Doesn’t leave marks on face after use 29.9%
Difficult to stain from lipstick, foundation 26.8%
Thin, light 26.3%
Disposable type 23.3%
Many masks in the package 22.1%
Can use many times 20.3%
Wire around the nose part 18.0%
Varied sizes 17.9%
Design, colour 14.3%
Elasticity 13.0%
Isn’t too conspicuous when wearing 9.6%
Easy to hook over chin 6.3%
Other 5.8%
Nothing in particular 1.7%

Q4SQ2: When buying a nasal spray, what points are important? (Sample size=1,624, multiple answer)

Highly effective 71.9%
Long-lasting effectiveness 57.7%
Doesn’t hurt nose 35.3%
Price 35.2%
Non-drowsy 28.3%
Easy-to-push, easy-to-spray bottle 28.1%
Easily portable 27.6%
Gentle effectiveness 27.3%
Easy to insert nozzle 26.8%
Medicine doesn’t easily leak from nose 25.9%
Can see how much is left in bottle 17.8%
Got on prescription 16.4%
Size of bottle, number of uses 12.9%
Menthol type 8.9%
Child-resistant cap 4.9%
Bottle design, shape 4.9%
Other 1.4%
Nothing in particular 2.3%

Here ends the questions for hay fever sufferers. The next question is only for those who aren’t suffering.

Q5: This spring, do you think you will develop hay fever? (Sample size=5,218)

Could get hayfever 8.2%
Shouldn’t get hayfever 64.1%
Don’t know 27.7%


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