Perhaps the most common type of allergy is hay fever. This annoying and uncomfortable condition affects millions of people around the world. Some people who suffer from hay fever do not even realize that they are dealing with an allergy because the symptoms are similar to those of a cold. The following article offers some basic facts about hay fever and also some tips for treating it.
Although commonly called hay fever, the clinical name for this condition is allergic rhinitis. It affects the nose and surrounding tissue. Two main types of hay fever have been identified by medical researchers: seasonal hay fever and perennial hay fever. The seasonal type, as the name suggests, is tied to the seasons and often begins in the early spring when plants are producing pollen. The perennial type can occur at any time of year as long as you are exposed to the allergen.
Seasonal hay fever is generally caused by the pollen, a powdery substance produced by many plants at certain times of the year. When grass, weeds, and trees in your environment produce pollen and you are allergic, then symptoms will appear.
Perennial hay fever is not related to plant biology. It's caused by a variety of substances that can be found in your house throughout the year. The most common underlying cause of this type of hay fever are dust mites, but things such as animal dander and mold can cause an allergic response in susceptible people as well.
As mentioned previously, the symptoms of hay fever are quite similar to those of the common cold. For example, if you are suffering from hay fever, you may have a runny nose, itchiness around your mouth and eyes, and sinus congestion, sneezing, and headaches. One key difference between cold symptoms and hay fever symptoms is that cold symptoms tend to occur in sequence while hay fever symptoms usually happen all at the same time.
Treating hay fever typically involves reducing your exposure to the specific allergen causing the problem as much as possible. You can also purchase over-the-counter medications to alleviate your symptoms. Of course, in some cases, home treatment may not be enough and you will need professional help to deal with the problem. If do-it-yourself treatments are not helping you resolve your hay fever issues, contact a doctor or clinic in your city that offers allergy care services for their assistance.