Hay Fever

Also called: Pollen allergy

Each spring, summer, and fall, trees, weeds, and grasses release tiny pollen grains into the air. Some of the pollen ends up in your nose and throat. This can trigger a type of allergy called hay fever.

Symptoms can include

  • Sneezing, often with a runny or clogged nose
  • Coughing and postnasal drip
  • Itching eyes, nose and throat
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes

Your health care provider may diagnose hay fever based on a physical exam and your symptoms. Sometimes skin or blood tests are used. Taking medicines and using nasal sprays can relieve symptoms. You can also rinse out your nose, but be sure to use distilled or sterilized water with saline. Allergy shots can help make you less sensitive to pollen and provide long-term relief.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of Hay Fever

The following features are indicative of Hay Fever:
  • excess nasal secretion
  • itching
  • sneezing fits
  • nasal congestion and obstruction
  • conjunctival swelling and erythema
  • eyelid swelling
  • lower eyelid venous stasis
  • swollen nasal turbinates
  • middle ear effusion
  • coughing and postnasal drip
  • itching eyes, nose and throat
  • red and watery eyes
  • dark circles under the eyes

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Common Causes of Hay Fever

The following are the most common causes of Hay Fever:
  • pollens
  • pollens of insect-pollinated plants
  • allergy to balsam of peru

Risk Factors for Hay Fever

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hay Fever:
  • having other allergies or asthma
  • having eczema
  • having a blood relative with allergies or asthma
  • living or working in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens
  • having a mother who smoked during your first year of life

Prevention of Hay Fever

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hay Fever. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • wear a mask or respirator when near potential allergens

Occurrence of Hay Fever

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Hay Fever cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Hay Fever most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-50 years

Common Gender

Hay Fever can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hay Fever

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hay Fever:
  • Skin prick test: To diagnose allergic reaction
  • Allergy blood test: To measures the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in the bloodstream

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hay Fever

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hay Fever:
  • Allergist

Complications of Hay Fever if untreated

Yes, Hay Fever causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hay Fever is left untreated:
  • worsening asthma
  • sinusitis
  • ear infection

Self-care for Hay Fever

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hay Fever:
  • Stay protected against pollen or molds: Close doors and windows during pollen season and use dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity
  • Stay protected against dust mites: Use allergy-proof covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows
  • Use cockroach repellents: Block cracks and crevices where roaches can enter
  • Avoid pet dander: Keep pets out of your home

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Hay Fever

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Hay Fever:
  • Herbal remedies and supplements: Helps in preventing seasonal allergy symptoms
  • Acupuncture: Helps with seasonal allergy symptoms

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hay Fever.

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