Hay Fever – Causes and Symptoms of Hay Fever
Hay fever also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction. It is your immune system’s response to foreign material in the air you breathe. It is characterized by sinus, sneezing, congestion and runny nose like that of cold-like symptoms. These symptoms sometimes persist throughout the year. They become worse usually in seasons of fall, summer or spring.
It is a common disease observed in more than 1 in 5 people. According to the research studies in the United Kingdom, 15 – 20% population are known to be affected. Hay fever makes a person miserable and it can also affect work or school performances.
Causes of Hay Fever
Hay fever is caused by allergens called as foreign invaders that enter the body through swallowing, inhalation or through the skin. The immune system of the body produces antibodies in response to the foreign substances. The next time when the same foreign substance enters into the body, the antibodies recognize the substance and release chemicals into the blood stream that cause a reaction and leads to irritating signs and symptoms.
Hay fever is caused by the following triggers:
- Spores from indoor and outdoor molds and fungi
- Dander from pets such as dogs, cats and birds
- Dust mites and cockroaches
- Weed pollen i.e common in the fall season
- Grass pollen i.e common in the summer and late spring
- Tree pollen i.e common in the spring
The risk of developing hay fever may increase due to the following factors:
- Working or living in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens.
- Being exposed to cigarette smoke
- Being male
- Having a blood relative with asthma or allergies
Symptoms of Hay Fever
Symptoms of hay fever depend on the type of substance a person is allergic to. Symptoms may develop at different times of a year. The signs and symptoms of hay fever include:
- Itchiness that spreads from throat to nose and ears
- Facial pain caused by blocked sinuses
- Loss of smell and taste
- Blocked and runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Itchy throat
- Watery eyes
Rarer symptoms of hay fever include:
Consult a medical professional if you think you have hay fever and if the symptoms seem to be ongoing and bothersome.