Updated 11 October 2013

Getting the drop on hay fever

Springtime may mean that you have to cope with sneezing, a stuffy and watery nose, red and itchy eyes. Just what causes hay fever?

Springtime may mean that you have to cope with sneezing, a stuffy and watery nose, red and itchy eyes, and all the other unpleasant symptoms caused by hay fever. Just what causes hay fever, also called pollen allergy and seasonal allergic rhinitis?

Starting in spring and continuing through summer and autumn, plants try to scatter their pollen hither and yon. Some people develop an allergic sensitivity to one or more of these pollens. That sensitivity causes the body to secrete defensive chemicals such as histamine, which cause hay fever symptoms.

Potential health complications

The severity of those symptoms varies from person to person and can range from mild to severe. People who suffer severe hay fever symptoms may find it difficult to do their daily tasks and may have to take time off work or school.

People who suffer hay fever attacks year after year may develop more serious health problems such as chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the sinus cavities. Other potential health complications include nasal polyps and asthma.

Get a grip on hay fever

The best way to control hay fever is to avoid the substances that cause it. Close your house windows and use air conditioning and air-purifying devices in your home during hay fever months. Use a dust mask if you have to work outside.

Antihistamines may offer relief from hay fever symptoms and decongestants may help, too. Consult with your doctor to determine what works best for you. - (HealthDayNews)


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