Symptoms of Hay fever

November 12, 2012

Symptoms of Hay fever

Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, occurs in individuals who are allergic to plant pollen. They experience a variety of symptoms including discomfort in the eyes and nose when they breathe the pollen.

Causes and Symptoms

Pollen from trees, grasses and ragweed can trigger the release of chemicals known as histamines in your body. These chemicals can lead to a variety of hay fever symptoms including:

  • Itchy and runny nose

  • Tearing eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Stuffy nose

  • Coughing

The amount of pollen in the air can affect the severity of the symptoms. Your genes and environment play an important role in the development of these allergic reactions.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor may analyze your symptoms and family history before diagnosing your hay fever symptoms. Allergic testing, especially skin testing, may help confirm the diagnosis of the condition. Blood eosinophil content will also help diagnose hay fever.

Avoiding the triggers is the best way to prevent and treat hay fever symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe anti-allergic medications including antihistamines, corticosteroids and decongestants, depending on your age and severity of the symptoms. A nasal wash may help remove the mucus from the nose in mild cases. A saline solution from the local drug store may also help manage the hay fever symptoms.

Prevention

Lifestyle changes including stress management and exercise may have a major impact on your hay fever symptoms.

  • Reducing your stress levels can reduce the severity of hay fever. About seven out of ten patients, who rate their symptoms as severe or unbearable, experience a significant drop in the intensity of the symptoms when their stress levels are low.

  • Regular exercise may also make your hay fever symptoms milder. About two-and-half hours of aerobic exercise per week, including cycling and fast walking, may help improve your symptoms. However, it may be best to exercise indoors as the pollen levels outside may be very high, especially early in the morning and in the evening.

  • Healthy diet and nutrition that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables may reduce the severity of the symptoms. However, you should remember that foods such as apples, tomatoes, stoned fruits, melons, bananas and celery may worsen your symptoms.

  • Alcohol may also worsen your hay fever symptoms. Hence, you should watch the amount of beer, wine and other spirits you consume during spring and summer.

  • A good nightÂ’s sleep is also important to improve your symptoms. About 21 percent of individuals with less than five hours of sleep experience severe symptoms.

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