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What is Hay Fever?

by A. Vogel USA, on 17 June 2016, Allergies

Hay fever is a common problem usually encountered in the spring and early summer. It is part of the group of health conditions known as allergic rhinitis – an allergic reaction to airborne substances, leading to inflammation in the lining of the nose, throat and eyes.

Hay Fever Symptoms

Hay fever is caused by an allergic (or abnormally strong) response to pollen coming from grass, flowers and trees. It is sometimes descriptively referred to as ‘pollinosis’ – inflammation due to pollen.

Doctors group hay fever with allergic rhinitis, best defined as allergies to airborne substances causing inflammation in the nose (rhinitis) and also the eyes and throat.

Hay fever symptoms can include:

  • Runny nose and nasal congestion
  • Watery, itchy, red eyes
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fatigue

Seasonal factors

Your hay fever symptoms may start or worsen at a particular time of year. Triggers include:

  • Tree pollen, common in early spring
  • Grass pollen, common in late spring and summer
  • Ragweed pollen, common in the fall
  • Dust mites, animal dander from pets can occur year-round (perennial)

Did you know?

  • Symptoms to indoor allergens might worsen in winter, when windows and doors are closed most of the time.
  • Spoors from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds are considered both seasonal and perennial

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