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Hay Fever: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Hay fever or also known as allergic rhinitis is a common allergic condition. It affects 30% of the people worldwide. Hay fever can be seasonal, perennial or occupational. It affects people of any age, although it usually starts in childhood and during teenage years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms of Hay Fever

Symptomsof hay fever start immediately after exposure to triggers. Common symptoms are:

  • sore throat
  • clogged ears
  • decreased sense of smell
  • allergic shiners, or dark circles under the eyes
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • puffiness under the eyes
  • irritability
  • sneezing
  • nose, eye itching
  • nasal congestion

Hayfever can be associated with:

  • Sleep disorder
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Limited activities
  • Impaired hand-eye coordination
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Ear infection
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Allergic conjunctivitis

Causes of Hay Fever

Commonhay fever results from an exposure to allergens such as:

  • Pollen from trees, grass and weeds
  • Pet dander and fur
  • Irritants like cigarette smoke and perfume
  • Mold and fungi
  • Dust mites

Theallergens will trigger the immune system where the immune system will identifythe allergen as something harmful.

HayFever Diagnosis

Diagnosisis done by an Allergist. Your allergist may get your detailed information andwill look for clues that may have caused the symptoms. Your allergist mayrecommend you to have a skin test.

Treatment for Hay Fever

Thereis no treatment for hay fever but you can do something to help relieve thesymptoms.

  • Avoidance- Avoid the allergensthat triggers the symptoms
  • Lifestyle change- cleaningand airing room regularly, washing of hand after holding a pet
  • Medication
  • Antihistamines to help relieve nasal congestions, sneezing,water eyes and runny nose
  • Intranasal corticosteroids to reduce runny nose, sneezing anditching
  • Decongestants to relievethe pressure and stuffiness caused by swollen nasal tissue
  • Nasal spray to helpcounteract the symptoms of hay fever. It can be used as often as needed unlikedecongestants
  • Immunotherapy
  • Allergy shots consist of diluted allergy extract
  • Sublingual tablets

Self-helpTips

  1. When the pollen count ishigh stay indoors
  2. Take a shower and changeyour clothes after going outdoor
  3. Wear sunglasses so pollenwon’t get inside your eyes
  4. Apply petroleum gel at theopening of the nasal cavity to trap pollen grains from entering the nose.

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