Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is a standard situation that reveals indicators and signs just like a chilly with sneezing, congestion, runny nostril and sinus pressures.

Hay fever is attributable to an allergic response to airborne substances, reminiscent of pollen – not like a chilly which is attributable to a virus. The time of yr through which you get hay fever relies on what airborne substance you’re allergic to.

The substance that causes an allergic response in hay fever is named an “allergen”. For nearly all of individuals, those that don’t get hay fever, these substances usually are not allergens, as a result of their immune system doesn’t react to them.

Despite its title, hay fever doesn’t imply that the particular person is allergic to hay and has a fever. Hay is infrequently an allergen, and hay fever doesn’t trigger fever.

Although hay fever and allergic rhinitis have the identical which means, most lay individuals check with hay fever solely when speaking about an allergic response to pollen or airborne allergens from crops or fungi, and perceive allergic rhinitis as an allergy to airborne particles, reminiscent of pollen, mud mites or pet dander which have an effect on the nostril, and perhaps the eyes and sinuses as effectively.

The remainder of this text focuses on hay fever attributable to pollen and different airborne allergens that come from crops or fungi. Hay fever attributable to pollen is also called pollinosis.

Some individuals are solely mildly affected by hay fever and infrequently attain some extent the place they resolve to hunt medical recommendation. However, for a lot of, signs could also be so extreme and chronic that they’re unable to hold out their every day duties at residence, work or at college correctly – these individuals would require therapy. Treatments might not do away with the signs altogether, however they often assist to reduce their impression, making them simpler to reside with.

As with different allergy symptoms, hay fever signs are a results of your immune system mistaking a innocent substance as a dangerous one, and releasing chemical substances that trigger the signs.

It is estimated that about 20% of individuals in Western Europe and North America undergo from a point of hay fever. Although hay fever can begin affecting individuals at any age, it typically develops throughout childhood or early maturity. It is claimed that almost all of hay fever victims discover their signs turn into much less extreme as they become older.

Hay fever information

  • Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) is a standard allergic situation.
  • Symptoms of hay fever mimic these of persistent colds.
  • The finest strategy to deal with an allergy¬†situation is to determine the allergic set off and keep away from it.
  • Histamine is a key chemical reason for allergic rhinitis and different allergic reactions.
  • Effective therapy is accessible in lots of varieties, together with medicines and desensitization remedy (immunotherapy).
  • Antihistamines are the medication mostly used to deal with allergic rhinitis.

Hay Fever Symptoms

  • Runny nostril
  • Itchy eyes, mouth or pores and skin
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nostril because of blockage or congestion
  • Fatigue (usually reported because of poor high quality sleep on account of nasal obstruction)

Hay Fever Triggers

  • Outdoor allergens, reminiscent of pollens from grass, bushes and weeds
  • Indoor allergens, reminiscent of pet hair or dander, mud mites and mould
  • Irritants, reminiscent of cigarette smoke, fragrance and diesel exhaust

Hay Fever Causes

Hay fever happens when the immune system errors a innocent airborne substance as a menace. As your physique thinks the substance is dangerous it produces an antibody known as immunoglobulin E to assault it. It then releases the chemical histamine which causes the signs.

There are seasonal hay fever triggers which embody pollen and spores that may solely trigger signs throughout sure months of the yr.

The following are some examples of hay fever triggers:

  • Tree pollen – these are likely to have an effect on individuals within the spring.
  • Grass pollen – these are likely to have an effect on individuals in a while within the spring and likewise in the summertime.
  • Weed pollen – these are extra frequent throughout autumn (fall).
  • Fungi and mould spores – these are extra frequent when the climate is heat.

Hay Fever Treatments

There is an unlimited array of OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medicines for treating hay fever signs. Some sufferers might discover {that a} mixture of two or three medicines works significantly better than only one.

It is vital for fogeys to do not forget that some hay fever medicines are only for adults. If you aren’t certain, discuss to a certified pharmacist, or ask your physician.

Antihistamine sprays or tablets

These are generally out there over-the-counter. The medicine stops the discharge of the chemical histamine. They often successfully relieve signs of runny nostril, itching and sneezing. However, in case your nostril is blocked they do not work.

Newer antihistamines are much less more likely to trigger drowsiness than older ones – however older ones are simply as efficient. Examples of OTC antihistamines embody loratadine (Claritin, Alavert) and cetirizine (Zyrtec). Examples of prescription antihistamines embody Fexofenadine (Allegra) and the nasal spray azelastine (Astelin). Azelastine begins working very quickly and can be utilized as much as eight instances a day – nonetheless, it could actually trigger drowsiness and go away a nasty style within the mouth after use.

Eye Drops

These cut back itching and swelling within the eyes and are often used alongside different medicines. Eye drops containing cromoglycate are generally used.

Nasal Corticosteroids

These sprays deal with the irritation attributable to hay fever, and are a secure and really efficient long-term therapy. Examples embody fluticasone (Flonase), fluticasone (Veramyst), mometasone (Nasonex) and beclomethasone (Beconase). Most sufferers might have to attend a few week earlier than experiencing any important advantages. Some sufferers might discover an disagreeable scent or style, and have nostril irritation.

Oral corticosteroids

For very extreme hay fever signs the physician might prescribe prednisone in tablet kind. They needs to be prescribed just for short-term use, due to their long-term hyperlink to cataracts, muscle weak point and osteoporosis.


Immunotherapy (allergy pictures) is a confirmed therapy method offering long-term aid for many individuals affected by allergic rhinitis. It works by regularly desensitizing the affected person’s immune system to the allergens that set off their signs.

Immunotherapy can doubtlessly result in lasting remission of allergy signs, and it might play a preventive function within the improvement of bronchial asthma and new allergy symptoms.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorised one other type of allergy immunotherapy in April 2014 known as sublingual immunotherapy.