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All over the world, around 30% of the people suffer from hay fever. In the US, almost 10% of teenagers and 7.8% of adults also complain of hay fever. Although it is most common in childhood, hay fever can occur at any stage of life, so it’s important to understand its causes and symptoms to find relief from it.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, also known as allergic rhinitis. It can occur throughout the year known as perennial hay fever or during only that time of the year in which plants pollinate, called as seasonal hay fever. It may include an allergic reaction from some other substance apart from pollen as well. In an allergic reaction, the immune system perceives something as a threat and overreacts to it, releasing chemicals to fight the infection.
Depending on the type of hay fever you suffer from, the symptoms can vary in severity. They also depend on the weather conditions and pollen count. However, some common symptoms of the condition include:
Runny or blocked nose
Watery or itchy eyes
Itchy ears, throat, nose or mouth
There are other less common symptoms of hay fever as well which you should know about and these include facial pain caused by blocked sinus, headache, tiredness, feeling fatigued, experiencing ear ache, and loss of smell.
If you have seasonal hay fever in the spring, it may be due to tree pollen. In the summer, you may be allergic to grass and weed pollens. In other seasons, weed and fungus spores may be the cause of your allergic symptoms. However, if you suffer from perennial hay fever, it may be due to indoor allergens such as animal dander, dust mites, feather or mold that accumulates in damp areas in the bathroom or basement.
The surest way to find relief from hay fever is to know your allergic triggers and to avoid them. If your hay fever is triggered from pollen, avoid going out unnecessarily and wear a mask. If it’s from dust or pollution, again, consider avoiding such places when possible and wear a mask when stepping out.
There are also some over the counter medicines available to control hay fever but you must consult an allergist to use the right one for the kind of condition you suffer from. Be aware that some over the counter drugs may be sedatives that cause drowsiness. Seasonal hay fever can also be treated with the use of antihistamine nasal sprays and people five years and older can use them with ease.
If you suffer from perennial hay fever, you must keep the indoors of your house as clean as possible, making them dust and mold free to avoid suffering from a possible allergic attack. However, for the best treatment options, you must visit your NYC allergist who can treat your condition and help you cope with it. Call us today to schedule your appointment.