What is hay fever?

Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis with symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, sinus pressure and congestion. Hay fever is not caused by a virus, but it is an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergen like pollen, pet dander and dust mites. Hay fever makes the work performance miserable and interferes with the person’s leisure activities.

Symptoms of hay fever

The symptoms occur after the person is exposed to the allergy-causing substance called allergen and has the following indications.

  • Sneezing, watery and itching eyes
  • Cough
  • Runny nose and nasal congestion
  • Sinus pressure and some pain on the face
  • An itchy nose, on the roof of the mouth or the throat
  • The sense of smell and taste decreases
  • Allergic shiners which are swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes.
Hay fever

Sneezing, watery and itching eyes are symptoms of hay fever.

Causes

In the process called sensitization, the immune system perceives harmless elements as something harmful to the body. As a result, the immune system will start producing antibodies to this harmless element. Every time the body comes in contact with this element, this antibody signals the immune system and releases chemicals like histamine to the bloodstream and these chemicals cause a reaction that will cause the symptoms of hay fever. The causes of hay fever include the following:

  • Pollen from trees
  • Spores from fungi and molds which are contagious during warm-weather months.
  • Pollen from ragweed and grass pollen

Treatment and home remedies for hay fever

There are first aid measures and remedies that should be taken into consideration in order to prevent hay fever.

  • The first task that the individual will do is to avoid the substances that will cause the reaction.
  • If the hay fever is severe, over-the-counter medications can be used to minimize the symptoms.
  • To avoid pollen and molds, close the doors and windows during the pollen season and use air-conditioning in homes and in vehicles.
  • Staying indoors during the dry and windy days.
  • Wearing a dust mask when outside doing activities like gardening and avoid raking leaves in the garden which will stir up the mold and pollen.
  • Using allergy-proof covers on mattresses and pillows to avoid dust mites.
  • Remove all carpeting in homes if the person is sensitive to dust mites.
  • Washing carpeting in homes in hot water at least 130 degrees F.
  • Washing bedding covers in heated water at least 130 degrees F.
  • Using a dehumidifier or an air conditioner in reducing the indoor humidity
  • Washing the dishes and cleaning garbage containers daily to avoid cockroaches.
  • Cleaning food crumbs  from counters and floors to avoid cockroaches
  • Placing traps on areas where cockroaches usually pass.
  • Repairing pipes and sewerage systems.
  • Storing food, pet foods in covered containers.
  • Bathing the pets on a regular basis and using wipes to minimize dander
  • Keep pets out of the bedrooms.

Prevention

The best way to prevent a hay fever is to lessen the exposure to the allergens that causes the symptoms.

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