It’s estimated that around one in six people get hay fever; it usually begins in childhood affecting boys more than girls, although it can start at any age and in adults affects genders equally. People who suffer with hay fever usually develop symptoms between late March and September.
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is actually an allergic reaction to the pollen from plants which is a fine powder released as part of their reproductive cycle. The pollen irritates the sinuses, the throat, the nose and the eyes causing swelling and inflammation. Around half of people report their symptoms lessen as they get older, while about a quarter report that their symptoms eventually disappear.
What are the symptoms of hay fever?
- Mild Symptoms Moderate Symptoms Severe Symptoms (usually associated with asthma)
- Eye irritation (watering, itchy and red)
- Face pain (caused by blocked sinuses)
- Shortness of breath
- Sneezing Headache
- Tight chest
- Runny or blocked nose Earache Wheezing
- Loss of taste/smell severe coughing
- Throat, mouth, nose and ear irritation
Treating Hay Fever
Treating hay fever is achieved by focusing on the symptoms. Over the counter antihistamines are often helpful because they treat the allergic reaction, but steroids can also be prescribed because these help reduce the inflammation. Other treatments include nasal decongestants and eye drops to reduce eye irritation. If you suffer with hay fever it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the pollen count and have these remedies ready and waiting.