Hay Fever

Symptoms of hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, are caused by the immune system responding to airborne allergens. The allergens are usually pollens from trees, grass and weeds but can also include airborne mold spores and pet dander. These trigger a runny nose and itchy eyes. It is important to treat hay fever because it can affect the quality of life and increase the risk of developing chronic sinus problems, such as nasal polyps, which may lead to serious medical conditions.

Hay fever symptoms typically occur during certain seasons of the year, when allergens are most prevalent. These seasons are known as the hayfever season and typically occur between late March and September, especially when it is warm, humid and windy. It is important to recognise hayfever symptoms and seek treatment early as this can help minimise the severity of your symptoms.

The most common csauses and symptoms of hayfever are sneezing, a runny nose or stuffy feeling and watery itchy eyes. Other symptoms can include itching of the nose or throat, nasal congestion and sinus pressure. Itching is generally more pronounced than the other symptoms. If you suffer from hayfever, you can use over-the-counter medications to manage your symptoms, such as antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays.

You can also find a range of natural remedies for hayfever, such as herbal supplements and acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t improve with allergy medicines, you can visit your GP and discuss other options for managing your allergies.

Allergy testing can help to determine what you’re allergic to, and if necessary, your GP can refer you for immunotherapy, which involves injecting a small amount of the allergen into your body to build up tolerance to it. Immunotherapy can take up to five years, but it can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms.

Other causes and symptoms of hayfever include dust mites, mould and pet dander. If you are allergic to dust mites, the tiny faeces of these creatures can cause irritation and trigger a runny nose, itchy eyes, itching of the skin and mucous membranes, asthma and dermatitis (rash). Mould thrives in moist environments and can be found in damp bathrooms, basements, furnace rooms, wardrobes and under sinks. It can also be found in carpets, rugs and curtains. Mould can also be found in rotting vegetation and compost piles.

The most common csauses of hayfever are tree, grass and weed pollens. These pollens are released into the air during the spring and summer, causing seasonal allergies. Other allergens that can trigger hayfever symptoms are fungi, such as mushrooms and yeast, and pet dander. If you have hayfever, you may be at increased risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma. This type of asthma can be sudden and life threatening. Keeping your hayfever symptoms under control can reduce the risk of thunderstorm asthma. To learn more, watch our video about thunderstorm asthma. Taking medications to prevent hayfever symptoms and avoiding contact with allergens can significantly reduce your symptoms.