Hay fever – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that has symptoms like a cold. A person with hay fever may experience congestion, a runny nose, sinus pressure, and sneezing.

Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to airborne substances like pollen. The time of year a patient with hay fever experiences the symptoms will depend on what allergen or substance they react to.

Although it is called “hay fever,” the condition isn’t referring to an allergy to hay and a fever. Hay isn’t usually an allergen, and fever is not one of its symptoms. Hay fever is the fifth most common disease in the U.S.

Known side effects and risk factors of hay fever

Hay fever symptoms can manifest at different times of the year and they often depend on the allergen an individual reacts to. For example, when a patient is allergic to a common pollen, they will have more severe symptoms when the pollen count is high.

Common symptoms of hay fever include:

  • A blocked, itchy, or runny nose
  • An itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

Severe hay fever symptoms may include:

  • Facial pain due to blocked sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Itchiness that spreads from the throat to the nose and ears
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Some people experience insomnia, irritability, and tiredness/fatigue
  • Sweats

Patients with asthma may experience more wheezing and breathlessness when their hay fever symptoms are common.

Risk factors for hay fever may include:

  • Date of birth — Being born during the high pollen season means you have a slightly higher risk of developing hay fever.
  • Gender and age — Before adolescence, hay fever is more common among boys. However, after adolescence, it is more common among females.
  • Genetic factors — Having a close family member with hay fever or another allergy increases the risk of developing hay fever.
  • Other allergies or asthma — Having other allergies or asthma increases the risk of developing hay fever.
  • Second-hand smoke — Exposure to cigarette smoke during adolescence increases the risk of hay fever.

Other factors such as being the firstborn, coming from a smaller family, or a higher-income family are often connected to childhood infections. An infant who has had fewer childhood infections may also have a higher risk of autoimmune problems as they grow older.

Body systems harmed by hay fever

The complications linked to hay fever usually start immediately after a person is exposed to a specific allergen. These symptoms, when experienced for several few days, may cause:

  • Allergic shiners/dark circles under the eyes
  • Clogged ears
  • Puffiness under the eyes
  • A sore throat

Food items or nutrients that may prevent hay fever

The following foods or nutrients can help prevent hay fever:

  • Ginger — Ginger is a potent and natural anti-inflammatory. It can help reduce nasal swelling and other symptoms of hay fever.
  • Kiwi — Kiwi contains more vitamin C, gram for gram, than oranges. The yellow variety contains more vitamin C than the green kiwi. Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.
  • Onion — Eating an onion daily can help keep hay fever at bay. Onions are rich in with the flavonoid quercetin, a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and natural anti-histamine.
  • Pineapple — Pineapple has bromelain, an enzyme with strong systemic anti-inflammatory effects. Bromelain can also minimize mucosal inflammation and nasal congestion.
  • Turmeric — This spice has curcumin, a phytochemical with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin also has anti-allergy properties that inhibit the release of histamine.

Treatments, management plans for hay fever

Various home treatments and management plans can help reduce hay fever symptoms.

Lifestyle changes that can help minimize allergens include:

  • Always washing your hands after petting animals or interacting with them in airy spaces.
  • Cleaning and airing out rooms regularly to prevent dust and mold.
  • Keeping windows closed to prevent pollen from entering your house.
  • Using a dehumidifier to control mold.
  • Wearing sunglasses to cover your eyes when you’re outdoors.

Treatment options for children include:

  • Antihistamines (nondrowsy)
  • Eye drops
  • Saline nasal rinses

Where to learn more

Summary

Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to airborne substances like pollen. The time of year a patient with hay fever experiences the symptoms will depend on what allergen or substance they react to.

Hay fever symptoms can manifest at different times of the year and they often depend on the allergen an individual reacts to. Common symptoms of hay fever include a blocked, itchy, or runny nose; an itchy throat; sneezing; and watery eyes.

The complications linked to hay fever usually start immediately after a person is exposed to a specific allergen. These symptoms, when experienced for several few days, may cause allergic shiners/dark circles under the eyes, clogged ears, puffiness under the eyes, and a sore throat.

Ginger, kiwi, onions, pineapple, and turmeric can help prevent hay fever.

Various home treatments and management plans can help reduce hay fever symptoms. Treatment options for children include antihistamines (nondrowsy), eye drops, and saline nasal rinses.

Sources include

BodyAndSoul.com.au

Healthline.com

MedicalNewsToday.com



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