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Hay fever

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Hay fever is a specific allergy that causes symptoms similar to that of the common cold. Most patients with hay fever develop worsening symptoms during the spring and fall months, when the pollen count is elevated and often can go through the winter months with few if any symptoms at all. Sometimes hay fever can be triggered by pet dander and mold, although most sufferers of hay fever experience allergies based on pollen and ragweed. A small percentage of patients who suffer from hay fever find their symptoms are triggered by cockroaches as well. There are treatment options available for those who suffer from hay fever.

HAY FEVER SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of hay fever typically include runny nose, congestion in either the chest or sinuses, cough, increased asthma attacks, itching and discomfort of the eyes, roof of the mouth, tongue, throat, and nose, watery eyes, pressure behind the face, head, or pain related to such pressure, disrupted sleep, fatigue, irritability, and allergy shiners—swelling and a blueness under the eyes. While the common cold and hay fever are nearly identical in their symptoms, cold sufferers tend to run a low fever and begin to improve within 3 to 5 days. Hay fever does not improve unless treated for the duration that the patient is exposed to allergies.

HAY FEVER CAUSES

Regardless of what the patient is allergic to, hay fever is always caused by the presence of an allergen. Allergens are substances that the patient’s body does not recognize at friendly and produces a histamine reaction to the presence of that substance. The body’s natural defense system, the immune system, launches into overdrive and tries to both protect the body from as well as rid the body of the allergen. Most seasonal hay fever sufferers are most commonly allergic to grass pollen, weed pollen, tree pollen, and the spores which fungus and mold release in order to reproduce. Most constant hay fever sufferers are allergic to pet dander, dust mites, cockroaches, and the spores from both indoor and outdoor molds and fungi. A patient can suffer from both seasonal and constant allergies.
Hay fever
Image: Hay fever

HAY FEVER RISK FACTOR

Risk factors for developing hay fever include being the first born child in the family, being male, being born during a high pollen season, family history, exposure to dust mites, and exposure to second hand cigarette smoke during the first year to eighteen months of life on a consistent basis.

HAY FEVER DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing hay fever begins with a physical examination as well as an accurate description of the symptoms and if the symptoms worsen during particular times. With signs of developing hay fever, a skin allergy test is recommended. This involves lightly scratching the skin (usually on the back) and determining which allergens the skin reacts to. This test is simple and basically painless and can help determine what allergens that the patient’s body is responding to. Once the allergens are identified, treatment options become clearer.

Complications related to chronic, untreated hay fever may include the development of asthma, susceptibility to sinusitis, the development of eczema, middle ear infections in children with hay fever, as well as a compromised quality of life and the constant feeling of being ill.

HAY FEVER TREATMENT

Treatment options for hay fever vary and can be determined by the severity of the allergies, the patient’s need, and the specific allergens which cause the reaction. Some patients can simply purchase over the counter antihistamines to control their symptoms. However, most patients require more aggressive treatment. An allergy shot, also known as immunotherapy, which is the gradual introduction of the allergen into the body to retrain the immune system, has been proven relatively effective for most hay fever patients. Prescription medications including corticosteroids, decongestants, antihistamines, nasal atropine, chromolyn sodium, and leukotriene modifiers often help to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

Patients with hay fever are urged to discover the source of their allergies, as it is recommended that patients avoid situations which are likely to expose them to their allergens. Some patients need to take ore extreme precautions than others, depending on the severity of the allergy. Some patients can simply keep the dog out of their sleeping area while others need to find new homes for their pets. Some patients should stay indoors when the wind is blowing around dry, warm air while others simply need to use air conditioning in their homes. Air purifiers work well for those with airborne allergies.
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Medication commonly used for these disease:

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