Hay fever is also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. This allergic condition is quite common, especially in the warm weather. Common symptoms of hay fever include itchiness in the eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.
Pollen is typically the cause of hay fever. The body perceives pollen as a harmful substance, which causes it to react with symptoms like sneezing. Since so many different trees, grasses, and plants release pollen each spring and summer, the body can respond to more than one type of pollen negatively. This can result in a result in a seemingly never-ending bout of hay fever symptoms.
It is not uncommon for hay fever and colds to be confused. With a cold, the symptoms typically dissipate within only a week or so. However, hay fever symptoms may go on for weeks at a time. The allergist will discuss both medical history and current symptoms with the patient to make sure that an accurate diagnosis can be made. The allergist may perform a skin prick test or a blood test to measure the body's reaction to pollen in order to make a definitive hay fever diagnosis.
There is a wide range of different treatments for hay fever. Hay fever medications that may be helpful include corticosteroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, oral corticosteroids, and sublingual allergy tablets. Some hay fever sufferers will benefit from regular allergy shots, particularly those with severe chronic symptoms. Regular sinus cleansing via nasal irrigation may also be recommended. Some people will find that a combination approach works best, so the allergist will customize treatment for each person. While all pollen can't be avoided, limiting exposure as much as possible is usually beneficial for those who suffer from hay fever.
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