In UK, this affects two in every ten people. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is called hayfever. Pollutants such as pollen affect the parts of upper respiratory system, causing hayfever. It is common in spring and summer seasons. If you are allergic to a certain type of pollen, it can cause hayfever in you. From season to season, different pollens can cause this allergy, in different persons. Some may get it during autumn too. This is rare, and is caused by weeds.

The symptoms of hayfever are similar to cold. The common symptoms include runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. The disease is caused when your immune over-react to a harmless substance. For example, pollen causes release of histamine, a chemical which activates allergy. If your family history reveals allergies such as asthma or eczema, you may also get hayfever. Hayfever occurs in the teen-agers, and it could be vigorous when they are in twenties. When they attain the age of forty, they become less sensitive to allergic substances, resulting in elimination of this problem.

What are the causes of hayfever

Pollen causes allergic reaction, which results in hayfever. It irritates the cells that are lining the nose, mouth, throat and eyes. The system treats it as harmful and produces immuglobulin, which is an antibody. This activates release of histamine and some other chemicals, causing the symptoms of hayfever. Grass pollen causes allergy to most of the people in England. The allergic substances include weeds and mould spores too. The hayfever could worsen in an environment of cigarette smoke or fumes emitted by motor vehicles.

How I come to know that I have hayfever

Severity of hayfever depends on the person, the season and the type and count of pollen to which you are allergic. The general symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itching in throat, mouth, nose and ears. Some may have symptoms such as loss of smell, pain caused by sinus, headaches and sweating. The symptoms of asthma, for example wheezing, worsen with hayfever. A hayfever season could trigger asthma symptoms too.

High pollen count worsens the symptoms of hayfever. The plant give out pollen in the small hours of the day. When it shines, flower open and release more pollen. The air carries the pollen. Therefore, you can stay at home to avoid exposure to pollen. Pollen spreads easily if the days are humid and windy. The rainy days combat spreading of pollen.

How hayfever is diagnosed

The doctors ask about the time and day of occurrence of the symptoms. Hayfever symptoms are normally clear. In some cases it may require a skin or blood test to find out the exact cause of allergy. These tests are necessary if you suffer from perennial allergic rhinitis. The skin test is simple and quick. The blood test is done to know about the antibody present in your system.

How hayfever is treated

Tablets, nasal sprays, eye drops and creams are available for treating hayfever. Antihistamine or nasal sprays blocks production of histamine. Steroid nasal sprays and drops are stronger than antihistamine tablets. Eye drops reduce the release of histamine from eyes. Cream for blocking pollen is under research for assessing its effectiveness.

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