Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis. In this condition, symptoms and signs are same as that of cold with sneezing, sinus pressures, and runny nose. Allergic rhinitis is stimulated by an allergic response to the airborne substances such as pollen, dust particles, noxious gasses and not by a virus which causes cold.
There are some airborne allergens to which your immune system may respond oppositely. The allergens of hay fever don’t affect everyone. Allergens affect only those people who are allergic to airborne substances such as pollutants, pollen, etc.
Contrary to its name, hay fever is not caused by hay and don’t result in any illness. Hay fever that is specifically caused by pollen is also known as pollinosis.
The impact of hay fever:
Some people are mildly affected by hay fever, and there are people for whom the symptoms are so intense that they are unable to carry out their daily household works or their job work.
These people need medical advice and treatment. There is no proper treatment to eliminate the allergy. Medical information may help to lessen the effect and make you easier to live with it.
Hay fever symptoms:
In case you feel that a person sneezes a lot, and his nose if often stuffy or runny he may probably have allergic rhinitis, or we can say hay fever.
Hay fever-like other allergies are caused by the hypersensitivity of our immune system to some allergens in our environment that typically don’t cause any problem to most of the people.
Some of the most common hay fever symptoms are:
- As discussed earlier we can always spot that person suffering from a runny nose.
- A person may feel itchiness in mouth or skin when exposed to airborne particles
- He/she may also experience stuffy nose which is probably due to nasal congestion.
- The nasal obstruction may cause a lack in sleep to the patient which may result in fatigue.
- A person may also experience watery eyes at times.
The symptoms mentioned above are the common symptoms which we can see in the person when hay fever allergy is in mild forms, but in rare cases the symptoms are severe.
Severe hay fever symptoms may include:
- Person experience sweat whenever exposed to pollen, pollutants, etc
- Person may get a headache also
- He may experience loss of smell and taste
- Blocked sinuses may cause facial pain to the person
- The itchiness can spread from face throat to ears and nose
Risk factors of Hay fever:
Risk factors are something that increases the probability of getting some disease or condition. Some risk factor that can be lead a person to develop hay fever is:
- Genetic/heredity: if someone in blood relation is suffering from hay fever in advance then the probability of developing hay fever increases. A person is also at a higher risk if a close relative is suffering from any allergy.
- Asthma: if a person has asthma then the chances of developing hay fever also increases because studies have shown that most of the people having asthma suffer from hay fever also.
- Gender and age: Studies and estimates have shown that young boys are more prone to hay fever than young girls. After adolescence, most of the boys outgrow the disease.
- Second-hand smoke: girls and boys who are exposed to the smoke of cigarette for the starting years of their life are at higher risk of developing hay fever.
Hay fever triggers:
- Outdoor allergens: Outdoor allergens that may include pollens from flowers, grass, trees.
- Indoor allergens: Indoor allergens include pet hair, dust, mites etc
- Irritants: Irritants that trigger the immune system include cigarette smoke, perfume, pollutants such as diesel exhaust.
Types of allergic rhinitis:
- Seasonal allergy: The seasonal allergy symptoms may occur in spring, summer, and fall of summer. It Is caused by the hypersensitivity of the immune system to airborne particles such as pollen from grass, weeds.
- Perennial allergy: The perennial allergy is not associated with any time of the season. These occur a year-round and are caused by the sensitivity to pet hair, cockroaches, diesel fumes and other pollutants in the air.
All you need to do is to avoid or decrease your exposure to the irritants or allergens which trigger your immune system.