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Hay Fever

This condition is caused by an pollen allergy. Some of the common hay fever symptoms include blocked/runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. An antihistamine nasal spray is one of the common treatments. Other treatments may be used if the regular ones do not work well.

Description

The cause of hay fever comes from pollen, which is a fine powder that flowers, trees and plants produce to fertilize others of the same species. One of the most common causes for hay fever comes from grass pollen and will affect people every year between the months of May and July.

This term is often used, however, whenever pollen triggers allergies. Tree pollen affects individuals during early to late spring every year. Weeds tend to pollinate from early spring until early autumn.

The immune system reacts to these pollens, which results in certain symptoms. Whenever the eyes and nose come in contact with pollen, the lining cells will release histamine along with other chemicals. Inflammation of the eyes and nose occurs. Sometimes, the throat and sinuses can be affected.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis produces a similar reaction as hay fever. The same symptoms occur at the same time of year and in the same season every year.

Diagnosis

Doctors will often diagnose people with hay fever based on standard symptoms, which occur during the same time of the year. They will also check a patient’s family history.

Once hay fever has been suspected, the doctor can usually suggest a treatment for the symptoms. The diagnosis will be confirmed if the suggested treatment is effective. In rare cases of uncertain diagnoses, the doctor suggests skin-prick testing or blood tests to confirm the presence of pollen allergy.

Treatments

The most commonly used treatments for hay fever are antihistamine tablets, antihistamine nasal sprays, eye drops and steroid nasal sprays. If the hay fever symptoms cannot be controlled through the use of medication after 2 to 4 weeks, you should discuss this situation with a doctor.

A different treatment may be recommended or another one added to supplement the current plan. Those who are taking hay fever medication regularly and controlling the condition should continue with this treatment until the pollen season ends.

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Affiliations

Long Island Jewish Medical Center
270-05 78th Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY 11040

North Shore University Hospital
300 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030

Winthrop University Hospital
259 1st Street
Mineola, NY 11501

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