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What is Hay Fever?

Spring has sprung, and with this change in weather people’s allergies will soon be in full effect.

Allergic Rhinitis – otherwise known as Hay Fever – is a reaction that is caused by the inhalation of airborne particles such as pollen. It’s very common; in fact, did you know that out of the 67 million Americans who suffer from allergies about 24-40 million of those suffer from airborne allergies like hay fever?

The severity of hay fever can vary based on the person. Sometimes a person will only experience mild effects, while others will endure symptoms so severe that it makes carrying out daily tasks at home, work and school very difficult.

Today we are going to examine the symptoms and causes of hay fever.

The symptoms of hay fever may begin at different times of the year, depending on the varying allergens in the air at any given time. However, the common symptoms of this sort of allergy are:

  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Itchy throat and nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

Severe symptoms of hay fever include:

  • Headaches
  • Facial pain that is a result of blocked sinuses
  • Itchiness that can be felt in the ears, nose and throat
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Sweats

You might be asking yourself, “What are the causes of hay fever?”

For starters, like most allergies, symptoms come as a result of a person’s immune system mistaking a harmless substance for a harmful one, and producing an antibody called immunoglobulin E to attack the substance. Chemical histamine is then released, which causes the symptoms.

There are a variety of hay fever triggers that are associated with different times of the year. These triggers include:

  • Fungi and mold spores – Commonly associated with warm weather
  • Grass pollen – Tends to affect people in the late spring and early summer
  • Tree pollen – Usually affects people in the spring
  • Weed pollen – Typically more common during the fall

Check back in a few weeks as we will be discussing the common treatment options for hay fever.

Sources:

http://www.pollen.com/hay-fever.asp

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/160665.php

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