Allergies Hayfever Symptoms

Do you experience chronic cold-like symptoms? You may actually be experiencing hay fever symptoms, which are similar to the symptoms of the common cold.

Understanding Hay Fever

You may not have considered hay fever as a possible cause for your symptoms because most people don’t understand what hay fever is. Hay fever does not cause a fever, nor is it triggered by hay. In fact, hay fever’s medical name is allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis is an irritation of the nose caused by an allergen. If you suffer from allergic rhinitis throughout the year, you have perennial allergic rhinitis. If you only experience symptoms during a season, you have seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Allergens stimulate the body to produce histamine. This bodily chemical causes you to experience hay fever symptoms.

Allergic Rhinitis/Hay Fever Symptoms

The following are common hay fever symptoms:

  • asthma
  • blue-colored skin under eye
  • conjunctivitis
  • coughing
  • eye redness
  • facial pain
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • itchy eyes, nose, roof of mouth and/or throat
  • loss of sense of smell and/or taste
  • mucus in throat
  • nasal congestion
  • nose bleeding
  • postnasal drip
  • runny nose
  • sinus pressure
  • sinusitis
  • sleeplessness
  • sneezing
  • swollen under eye area
  • tearing
  • upward nose rubbing.

Triggers for Hay Fever Symptoms

The following are the most common triggers for hay fever symptoms:

  • animal dander
  • cockroach debris
  • dust
  • mold
  • pollen
  • tobacco smoke.

Avoiding Hay Fever Triggers

One of the best treatments for hay fever is removal of allergens. Pollen levels are highest during the spring, but grass also pollinates in the summer, and weeds in the summer and fall. Stay indoors as much as possible during the times when pollen counts are high.

If your triggers are found indoors, follow these steps to decrease allergens in your home:

  • bathe pets regularly
  • call pest control for cockroach problems
  • encase pillows and mattress to prevent dust mites
  • keep your living environment clean
  • quit smoking or don’t allow others to smoke inside
  • replace carpet with hardwood floors.

Treatment Options for Hay Fever

Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid allergens, which means you continue to suffer from hay fever symptoms. Other options for the treatment of hay fever are medications to help the inflammation that occurs during an allergic reaction. The following are the most common types of medications prescribed for hay fever:

  • Antihistamines will block the histamine your body produces because of an allergic reaction, so that your hay fever symptoms do not flare.
  • Decongestants are for people who experience many of the nose issues of hay fever. Decongestants decrease the swelling of membranes in your nose.
  • For people with severe allergies, a desensitization program may help you find relief. Your doctor gives you injections of the allergen so that your body produces immunity to it. This treatment can reduce your hay fever symptoms up to 80 percent.
  • Nasal sprays also attack the nose symptoms of hay fever by reducing the inflammation in the nose that causes you to sneeze and have a runny nose.

Children’s Susceptibility to Hay Fever

Children with family history of hay fever have a high susceptibility to the disease. As children develop, hay fever symptoms decrease and for some, diminish entirely. However, some children continue to experience these allergies into adulthood, but with much more severity, resulting in sinusitis or asthma.

Resources

Mayo Clinic. (2008). Hay fever: Symptoms. Retrieved March 14, 2009, from the Mayo Clinic Web site http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hay-fever/DS00174/DSECTION=symptoms.

Stoppler, Melissa (n.d.).Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Retrieved March 14, 2009, from the Medicine Net Web site http://www.medicinenet.com/hay_fever/article.htm.

Suri, Ranjan (2007). Hay fever. Retrieved March 14, 2009, from the Families First for Health Web site http://www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk/families/az_child_health/h/hay-fever.html.