Hay fever, which usually develops during childhood or early adulthood, is also called allergic rhinitis. It is caused by exposure to certain substances that cause allergies, called allergens, such as:
Signs and Symtoms of Hay Fever
Hay fever causes signs and symptoms like the common cold such as a runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. However, whereas the common cold is caused by a virus, hay fever is caused by an allergic reaction to indoor or outdoor allergens. Although hay fever can occur any time of the year, or year-round, the symptoms usually develop, or are worse, in the spring, summer or fall. The condition can interfere with school and work performance. However, persons with hay fever can learn what causes, or triggers, their symptoms as well as the right treatment for them.
Risk Factors for Hay Fever
Having other allergies or asthma
Having a parent, sister or brother who has, or had asthma or other allergies
Being exposed to cigarette smoke, especially during the first year of life
Living or working in an environment that constantly exposes a person to allergens – such as smoking, living or working in a moldy house or building, or around pet dander.
Approaches to Prevention and Treatment
The best way to avoid hay fever is to remove oneself from the triggers, or causes, or removes the causes from the affected person.
The second thing is to visit an allergy specialist (or allergists) so that he/she can work with you to determine the cause. In many instances, after that the allergist can give a series of treatments to help desensitize the affected person, by making him or her less sensitive to the allergen that causes the attacks.