Hay Fever is known as allergic rhinitis. It is caused due to inhaling airborne outdoor or indoor allergens like dust mites, grass, tree, pollen, spores, animal fur or the skin, urine, and saliva of pet animals. These allergens cause cold-like symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion, and sinus pressure.
Hay Fever is a kind of allergy, but all allergies are not Hay Fever. Allergy is a common term used when the immune system mounts a response to a foreign substance that’s not typically harmful to the body. These foreign substances are called allergens
What causes Hay Fever?
When you suffer from Hay Fever, the immune system of your body recognizes an airborne material that is harmless as harmful. Your immune system develops antibodies against this harmless substance. Henceforth, if in the future you come into contact with these specific allergens, your immune system will release histamines into the bloodstream. This will cause reactions that generate the symptoms of Hay Fever.
What are the symptoms of Hay Fever?
The warning signs of Hay Fever are:-
● Runny , itchy, and a stuffy nose.
● Watery, itchy, red eyes
● Sneezing when in contact with allergens
● Itching of the throat
● The skin color beneath the eyes will be blue and swollen.
● Postnasal drip, cough, and fatigue
What are the common allergens that trigger Hay Fever?
The indications of Hay Fever begin or get worsen during a specific time of the year. The triggers include:
● During the early spring, pollen from trees can cause Hay Fever.
● During the months from March to July, grass pollen becomes one of the significant factors for Hay Fever.
● Ragweed pollen also causes Hay Fever.
● Cockroaches, dander from pets, and dust and mites can lead to Hay fever.
● Contact with spores from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds also lead to the symptoms of Hay Fever.
What are the risk factors associated with Hay Fever?
The risk of getting Hay Fever increases if you are:
● Have eczema (itchy inflammation of the skin)
● Have parents or siblings suffering from asthma or allergies
● Reside or are employed at a place that frequently gets you to contact with animal dander, dust mites, or other allergens which acts as triggers.
● Your mother had a habit of smoking when you were a baby.
What are the complications of Hay Fever?
● Hay Fever impedes day to day activities of an individual. You will be missing school or office. Hay Fever will make you less productive.
● Hay Fever will interfere with your sleep. You will find it difficult to sleep, resulting in tiredness and a feeling of uneasiness.
● Hay Fever causes extreme coughing and sneezing, which are similar to that of asthma.
● The susceptibility to sinusitis increases with persistent sinus congestion owing to Hay Fever.
● Children suffer from otitis media (infection in the middle ear) due to Hay Fever.
What precautions should you take during Hay Fever?
You cannot get rid of Hay Fever. The best thing to do would be to reduce your contact with allergens that trigger symptoms. You should take allergy medications as directed by your doctor. This will help in easing the symptoms if you come in contact with allergens.
What are the methods used to treat Hay Fever?
Allergic medicines that are used to ease Hay Fever symptoms include Corticosteroid nasal sprays and anti-histamines. However, it is advised to consult your doctor and follow their advice before taking any self-medication.
When to visit a Doctor?
You should visit a doctor if:
● There is no relief in your symptoms associated with Hay Fever.
● The allergy medications are not efficacious.
● Allergy medications have adverse effects.
● You have simultaneous conditions of asthma, nasal polyps, or frequent sinus infections. They worsen hay fever symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is the best cure for Hay Fever?
Answer: There’s no way to avoid getting rid of Hay Fever. The best precaution is to lessen your exposure to the allergens that cause your symptoms. It would be best if you visit your physician as early as possible.
2. What is the difference between Hay Fever and common cold?
Answer: The significant difference is that Hay fever causes a runny nose with a thin, watery discharge with no fever. In contrast, a common cold will have symptoms like watery or thick yellow discharge from the nose (runny nose) and a low-grade fever accompanied by body aches.
The onset of Hay fever will be immediate once you get exposure to the allergens. However, the beginning of a common cold will take somewhere between one to three days after exposure to the cold virus. The duration of Hay fever is not defined. It will remain with you as long as you are in contact with the allergens. In contrast, common cold duration is three to seven days.
3. How long does a Hay Fever last?
Answer: There is no particular duration of Hay Fever. It will last as long as there is contact with the allergens.
4. What foods make Hay Fever worse?
Answer: Alcohol, peanuts, sugar, processed foods, wheat, chocolate, and even your morning cup of coffee can worsen your Hay Fever.