Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a condition that causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. However, it is not caused by a virus like the common cold. The condition is triggered by an allergic reaction to a harmless substance in the environment that the body identifies as harmful or an allergen.
Common allergens that can trigger hay fever include pollen, dust mites and pet dander from animals with fur or feathers. The allergic reaction to these allergens causes the body to release a natural chemical called histamine. This can result in various symptoms, including nasal irritation, sneezing, congestion, and eye irritation.
Hay fever can affect a person’s daily life, making it difficult to concentrate on work or school. However, there are ways to manage the condition. Avoiding triggers that cause the allergic reaction is one way to minimize symptoms. There are also various treatment options available, including over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be persistent or seasonal, with onset or exacerbation occurring during a particular time of the year.
Triggers of allergic rhinitis include:
It can be challenging to identify which one you have because the symptoms can be identical.
Consult a doctor if:
A lot of individuals, particularly kids, become accustomed to the symptoms of hay fever, leading them to delay seeking treatment until the symptoms become severe. Nonetheless, obtaining the proper medical attention could offer relief.
Hay fever occurs when the immune system produces antibodies, such as IgE, in response to harmless airborne substances, known as allergens. When the body is exposed to the same allergen again, the immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, which can cause inflammation and itching in the nose, eyes, and throat. Allergens that can trigger hay fever include dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and cockroach saliva and waste. Additionally, food allergies can also cause inflammation in the nose and throat, which can be life-threatening in some cases.
Your risk of getting allergic rhinitis can be increased by the following factors:
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