Health Updates

Understanding the Triggers and Symptoms of Hay Fever

When spring, summer or fall comes, it can only mean one thing for people with allergic rhinitis: nasal problems. As pollens flourish in the air, some of these tiny grains can enter through the nose. This can cause a problem.

Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is characterized by symptoms such as frequent sneezing, clogged nose and postnasal drip. Other symptoms include itching eyes and nose, watery eyes and, in some cases, coughing. As this type of allergy is seasonal and is primarily triggered when exposed to pollen, patients, to some degree, have control over their symptoms.

Other causes that activate the symptoms of hay fever include dust, pet dander and mold.

Did you know one in five people suffer from hay fever? To relieve the symptoms, doctors often prescribe nasal sprays. Other suggestions for relief include rinsing the pollen out the nose using sterilized or distilled water with saline. For long-term relief and protection, allergy shots are also available.

Do you suffer from this nasal problem? You might want to read on to learn more about the condition.

Compared to ordinary flu or cold, the symptoms of hay fever tend to run longer, which can last for weeks. Hay fever, in addition, does not cause fever. With regard to nasal discharge, it tends to be thicker than with cold or flu; in hay fever, discharge is usually watery and clear. Sneezing is also more common and rather violent in hay fever.

Wondering when you should see a doctor for your hay fever symptoms? If the condition interferes with your life, please consider getting an appointment.

Here are tips to avoid allergens and prevent the onset of your symptoms:

If your hay fever symptoms are caused by pollen, it is best to take a shower before going to bed. This can help wash off the pollen accumulated on your skin and hair throughout the day. On dry, windy days, avoid going outside as much as possible. Make sure you seal off the windows and keep the doors shut to prevent the pollen from getting indoors.

Mold is often found on shower curtains and in damp basements. To eliminate mold in the household, clean these areas regularly. You can use chlorinated water to kill the mold.

Dust is commonly found in carpets, mattresses and bedding, drapes and upholstery. Make sure you vacuum frequently to prevent accumulation of dust in these areas. Install new A/C filters to purify the air. If you want to lower the humidity levels in your home, get a dehumidifier.

Common treatments for hay fever symptoms include antihistamines, which help reduce runny nose and sneezing. Decongestants can give relief for a stuffy nose; however, their use is ideal only for shorter periods. Nasal sprays and drops, in particular, should not be used for more than three days at a time; otherwise, you will develop dependency. In addition, decongestants can raise blood pressure levels.

Probably the best solution is to simply avoid exposure to aerosol sprays, irritating fumes, tobacco smoke and polluted air.

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