Hay Fever – Symptoms, Causes & Remedies

Having a sensitive immune system makes you highly likely to develop allergic reactions to dust and pollen. When you inhale the same, your body’s immune system produces a specific antibody (immunoglobulin E), which binds to most cells. As you inhale dust or pollen, the bound immunoglobulin E antibody is stimulated, causing the release of inflammatory mediators, which in effect cause inflammation itching and production of mucus.

Causes of Hay Fever

Apart from normal dust, hereditary and environmental factors can be major causes of your hay fever allergy condition. Specific seasonal plants that produce pollen are major causes of hay fever. Such pollen is tiny and invisible by the naked eye. Trees of pine, cedar, hornbeam willow and olive are some of the plants that cause hay fever. Certain grasses and weeds that include ryegrass, timothy, ragweed, plantain, fat hen and sorrel amongst others also cause hay fever. Hay fever can be seasonal or perennial. While seasonal hay fever occurs during pollen seasons, perennial hay fever can occur at any time of the year and is mostly associated with children.

Symptoms of Hay Fever

Hay fever symptoms start to manifest immediately after exposure to causative agents. You will start experiencing the following:

  • Production of nasal secretions
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Conjunctive swelling
  • Eyelid swelling

Hay fever can progress further and become serious should you fail to take remedial measures in good time. A severe case can lead to allergen immunotherapy, where you either receive allergy shots or get your nasal tissue or sinuses removed surgically.

Treatment for Hay Fever

You can use the following hay fever management and treatment tips to cope with your hay fever condition:

  • Avoid exposure to allergens This is the best that you can do. Consider staying indoors during the hay fever season. If you need to go out, do so during the day. Pollen levels are high in the mornings and evenings. Consider closing all windows at such times. You may consider installing air conditioners with filters in your car (in case you own one).
  • Use Medications – Use medications that are effective in blocking allergic mediators. These are mostly antagonistic drugs. Such include antihistamines, hydrocortisone, dexamethasone and theophylline amongst others.
  • Steroids – Use steroid medications such as prednisone to reduce nasal inflammation. You may also consider using nasal sprays.
  • Decongestants – Use decongestants such as pseudoephedrine medications to eliminate nasal congestion. You can use the same along with antihistamines.
  • Natural Herbs – Use alternative medications. You can use natural herbs to manage and treat hay fever condition. Various herbal formulations are available in the market that you can safely use to combat hay fever.
  • Protection from Weather – Weather plays a big role in aggravating hay fever. You may consider protecting yourself against adverse weather to keep yourself comfortable.
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Although you can use preventive measures, conventional and non-conventional methods to cope with your hay fever allergy, it is important to point out that self-medication are not advisable. It is important to consult your doctor before you embark on buying medication. Note also that you will need to have prescription in order to buy certain medications.

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