Hay Fever: Causes, Symptoms, and Complications
What is Hay Fever?
Despite the name, you don’t have to be allergic to hay or have a fever to suffer from this condition. Hay Fever, or Allergic Rhinitis, is a common allergic condition that causes cold-like symptoms in many people around the world. If you’re wondering whether your symptoms are general allergies, hay fever or the common cold – you aren’t alone! Many people suffer from hay fever year-round and don’t know it. Here’s what you need to know about Hay Fever:
What Are The Common Causes of Hay Fever?
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
- Trees, grass, or weeds
What Are The Common Symptoms of Hay Fever?
- Itchy watery red eyes - often a cause of allergic conjunctivitis
- Runny nose and or nasal congestion
- Cough from post-nasal drip
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Frequent clearing of throat
- Dark circles around the eyes
What Are The Short And Long-Term Complications of Hay Fever?
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Prolonged cough
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- 1 in 4 people with Hay Fever may also suffer from Asthma
How is Hay Fever Diagnosed?
- Allergic Rhinitis is often diagnosed based of a patient’s history of symptoms and a simple examination in the office.
- Allergy skin testing at an Allergist office can also determine the specific allergen causing Hay Fever.
How Do I Treat Hay Fever?
- Over the counter oral antihistamines are greatly effective in controlling symptoms
- Your healthcare provider may prescribe a nasal spray, decongestant, or eye drops for additional relief of symptoms
- Nasal saline or nasal irrigation tool to flush out nasal cavity
- Remove yourself from the known trigger when possible
- At home care such as, washing linens and clothes on high temp setting to remove spores, keeping windows closed, and changing air filters in the house frequently
What Is The Difference Between The Common Cold And Allergies?
- If you get sick at the same time every year or if your symptoms get worse with exposure to the outdoors, you are most likely experiencing allergies.
- Most colds will improve on their own in 7-10 days, while allergies will continue to last for several weeks or for as long as you are exposed to the allergen.
- Unlike a cold, allergies do not produce fever and are not contagious.
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