Hay fever, also known as rhinitis, is an allergy that affects the nose. It is caused by environmental allergens like pollens, dust mites or animal hair. It can occur at any time of the year. Hay fever doesn’t cause fever; it just results in irritation to the nose. Other symptoms of hay fever can include :
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
The symptoms can be similar to the common cold. Common cold lasts for three to seven days while hay fever lasts as long as the person is exposed to allergens.
Anyone can get affected by hay fever. Those who stay outdoors are more likely to suffer from hay fever.
Our immune system identifies harmless airborne substances as harmful. The immune system then starts to produce antibodies to provide protection against this harmless substance. These antibodies signal the immune system to release chemicals like histamine into the blood vessels. This reaction leads to symptoms of hay fever.
If a person suffers from asthma, then hay fever can worsen the signs and symptoms of asthma.
Hay fever can keep you awake or make it hard to sleep.
There can be various triggers which can cause hay fever. Outdoor allergens which trigger hay fever are pollens from grass, trees and weeds. Indoor allergens include animal hair, dust mites, etc. There can be other irritants like cigarette smoke, perfume and diesel exhaust.
The most effective way to control hay fever is to avoid exposure to pollens. Pollens are common in summer seasons. One should always keep their eyes and nose covered while outside. Wear glasses to cover your eyes.
Certain medications can be taken to reduce the symptoms.
You should always wash your hands after petting the animals.