Hayfever and Allergies

Hayfever and Allergies

Hayfever is the term used to describe a group of symptoms that are experienced by the nose. Hay fever is not caused from grass or hay, but by an overreaction of the immune response to substances called allergens. Hay fever is characterised by sneezing and runny, stuffy or blocked noses. Watery eyes are also common. Some people have an itchy or scratchy nose, ears, or throat. These symptoms do not go away on their own. Hayfever is medically known as allergic rhinitis.

Is hay fever a type of allergy?
Yes. Hayfever can be triggered by anything that causes an allergic reaction. Food, medicine, dust mites and animal dander can trigger allergies. Allergic reactions can cause irritation of the nose, sinuses and eyes. They may also affect the throat, skin, stomach, and intestines. Allergy symptoms can be mild or severe, even life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is one example.

Histamine is released by the immune system when a person’s body reacts to an allergen. Histamine can cause swelling of the tissues in the face, the eyes, the throat, and other areas of the body. Hay fever symptoms include a runny nose or a stuffy nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.
Seasonal allergies are triggered by different allergens. In spring, summer, and early autumn, seasonal allergies are triggered by pollen produced by trees, grasses, and weeds. Mould spores in the air and pet dander are also triggers. Hay fever can be caused by perennial allergens such as indoor and outdoor moulds, and some insect venoms.

Antihistamines and steroid nasal aerosols can help relieve the symptoms of hay fever. Decongestant nose sprays are effective in clearing the nose, but they should only be used for a short time. Long-term use of these nasal sprays may damage the lining. Immunotherapy or allergy shots may be beneficial for some people. This involves gradually increasing the dose of an allergen to reduce sensitivity and build tolerance. Under the supervision of an allergy or clinical immunologist, this should be carried out.

The doctor will ask the patient about their symptoms, when they occur most often, any over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs they’ve taken and if they’ve had other treatments for Hay Fever. A doctor may perform diagnostic tests, such as a blood or skin test to test for allergies. CT scans or ultrasounds may be used to evaluate the health of your sinuses. Your doctor will consider other factors, such as your family’s history of allergies or recurrent sinus infection or large adenoids.
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