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HAY FEVER AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS
HAY FEVER AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS

HAY FEVER AND ALLERGIC RHINITIS

Hay Fever is a common allergic condition which causes several signs and symptoms which are cold-like such as a runny nose, sneezing, in some cases itchy eyes, congestion and sinus pressure. Another name for Hay fever is “allergic rhinitis”. Unlike cold caused by a virus or maybe extreme weather conditions, hay fever is more of an outdoor or indoor allergic reaction, which include pollen, dust mites or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs, and other animals with fur or feathers (pet dander).

The hay fever is usually extreme between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. It is an inflammation in the nose which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. The underlying mechanism involves IgE antibodies attaching to the allergen and causing the release of inflammatory chemicals like histamine from mast cells. It has similar symptoms of a common cold; however, they usually last longer than two weeks and don’t include a fever. Within minutes following exposure to hay fever, one can find it difficult to sleep, work or focus on anything remotely.

The perks of living on a farm while growing up or early exposure to animals reduces the high risk of developing these hay fever allergies, later on. Some of the symptoms which can make you miserable and affect your overall performance include:

  • Sneezing
  • Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Cough
  • Itchy nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose and nasal congestion.
  • Loss of smell
  • Headache
  • Earache (in children, hay fever often is a factor in middle ear infection).
  • Feeling tired
  • Pain around your temples and forehead

If you are asthmatic, you might have a tight feeling in your chest, be short of breath, wheeze and cough extensively.

What causes hay fever?

Hay fever is commonly caused when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen –this could be contacted through the mouth, nose, eyes or throat. It is triggered by the pollens of specific seasonal plants known as “hay fever”.

Triggers include:

Grass pollen, which is common in late spring and summer, Ragweed pollen is usually popular in fall, and Tree pollen is common in early spring.

The causal pollen for hay fever varies between individuals and from one region to another; wind-pollinated plants are the predominant cause through their tiny, hardly visible pollens. Environmental factors affect the release and spread of pollens –rain, sunshine and wind. Pollen may be cleared from the air causing pollens to fall during rainy days.

Prevention

To avoid hay fever, the best possible way to do so is lessen your exposure to the allergens that cause the symptoms. Taking allergy medications before you get exposed to allergens have also been found to be helpful.

Treatment

Currently, there is no acclaimed or effectively proven cure for hay fever, asides from being able to relieve symptoms with treatment to a certain extent.

Antihistamines

Oral antihistamines are effective in patients with mild to moderate disease. It relieves patients with a palatal itch, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, or eye symptoms.

For more information on the relieval methods and care for hay fever, you can contact us today, and we will be happy to be of assistance.

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