What Is Hay Fever?

What is hay fever?

Allergy season brings with it sneezing, congestion and a host of other miserable issues. Allergic rhinitis, more typically known as hay fever, is one of the biggest offenders in this arena. In fact, between 10 and 30 percent of the global population suffers from the condition, making hay fever one of the most common allergies in any country. The following information is important if you think you may be suffering from hay fever.

Hay Fever Basics

Contrary to its name, hay fever might not involve hay or a fever. While hay could cause the allergy, other culprits such as weeds, grasses and even mold spores in the air can result in symptoms. These are some of the most typical causes of seasonal hay fever, but people may suffer year-round due to dust mites, pet dander and even roaches.

If you have hay fever, you will want to figure out the specific trigger and avoid it. Otherwise, you may just end up adding to the yearly $3.4 billion in medical costs related to the condition. Unfortunately, more children in America suffer from the condition than adults. No matter who the sufferer is, though, the symptoms of hay fever can be downright awful.

Symptoms of Hay Fever

A variety of symptoms are linked to hay fever. In addition to the aforementioned causes, the following symptoms could also be related to cigarette smoke, perfumes and even laundry detergents.

  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal discharge (clear mucus)
  • Eye, nose, facial, skin or throat itching
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen or puffy eyelids
  • Fatigue

Unfortunately, these symptoms can lead to other issues. You may have difficulties concentrating, and you may even experience memory problems. Sleeping through the night can also become an issue, and you are likely to miss days at work or school. Fortunately, there are treatments available.

Treatments for Hay Fever

You will want to visit a healthcare professional if you suffer from the aforementioned symptoms. They will be able to verify if you have hay fever and identify the appropriate treatment for your specific case. The main treatment goal should be to avoid what triggers the allergy, but that’s not always possible.

Depending on the extent of your condition, treatments for hay fever could include allergy shots or prescription strength antihistamines. Your allergist may also recommend wearing sunglasses to avoid pollen, using bed covers or avoiding outdoor air during high pollen periods.

If you’re suffering from hay fever or other allergies, contact the Allergy and Asthma Center San Jose and get started on the path to relief.


  • http://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/allergy-statistics
  • http://www.medicinenet.com/hay_fever/article.htm
  • http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis

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