What is Hay Fever?
- Hay fever is also known as ‘allergic rhinitis’. It’s caused by an allergic reaction to outside or indoor irritants such as animal fur, dust mites, fungal spores or pollen.
- Allergens are generally enzymes that can cause the throat, eyes, nose and sinuses to become inflamed, irritated and swollen.
- When you have an allergic response, your body reacts excessively to something that it sees as a risk. In hay fever, the risk is the allergen (the element that you are sensitive to).
- Your immune system (the body’s normal defence structure) starts to respond as if it’s being aggravated by an organism, and will discharge a number of chemicals intended to stop the spread of what it incorrectly perceives as an infection.
- These chemicals the body releases then cause the symptoms of the allergic response such as wet eyes and a gooey nose.
Hay fever symptoms include:
- Nose keeps running
- Scratchy eyes.
Hay fever generally starts in childhood or during the teen years, but you can get it at any age. It affects up to 1 in 5 people at some stage in their life, and is more expected to take place if there is somebody in your family that has it – mainly eczema or asthma. In fact, asthma and hay fever share several risks and triggers including a genetic tendency to develop allergic responses. Most individuals are able to get rid of their symptoms with proper treatment – at least to a certain degree. Speak with your GP if your symptoms are worrying as you might need prescription medicine.