Commonly known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is a type of allergic reaction that can cause inflammation in the nasal airways. It usually occurs when an allergen such as pollen or animal dander is taken in by an individual with a sensitized immune system. For this matter, the allergen triggers the IgE to produce massively that result to the occurrence of the different symptoms of hay fever.
Basically, the cause of this allergy is grass pollens. Ironically, individuals with hay fever do not really have any fever at all nor any hay as well. However since the grasses scattered their pollens into the air every time the hays are being cut, the term hay fever is then used.
5 Must Know Facts about Hay Fever
- Classification – essentially, allergic rhinitis are categorized into two which is seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is triggered particularly during the onset of pollen season and it does not usually develop until an individual reaches 6 years of age. As for perennial allergic rhinitis, it usually occurs throughout the year and is commonly seen in youngger children.
- Signs and symptoms – in actual fact, hay fever has lots of signs and symptoms. However as for the most common one, its manifestations usually include rhinorrhea, itching, nasal congestion as well as nasal obstruction. While in some cases, it may expand through the body whereas patients will also experience conjunctival swelling, erythema, eyelid swelling, lower eyelid venous stasis, transverse nasal crease, middle ear effusion and swollen nasal turbinates.
- Complications – if this allergy is not treated immediately, there are certain complications that can disrupt the quality of life of an individual. It may lead to situations wherein the patient is disturbed due toadequate of sleep, as they experience other problems that may associate allergic rhinitis. These complications may include sinusitis, ear infection as well as worsening the asthma which can be fatal if not taken into consideration immediately.
- Allergy testing – in order to identify the specific allergen to which an individual is sensitive with, allergy testing are being processed by medical practitioners. The most common method that is being used is the skin testing which can be done intradermal, or through scratch or patch. As for those individual who can not undergo such test, they may use the RAST blood test in determining the specific allergen.
- Management – basically, the goal of hay fever management is to prevent or at least reduce the occurrence of the sign and symptoms which are caused by the inflammation of the affected tissues. Perhaps the most effective one is to avoid the allergens that can cause hay fever. However since this management may be hard to follow, other types of treatment are introduced to handle such condition. These alternative treatments may include intranasal corticosteroids, antihistamine medications, decongestants and nasal irrigation. As for those individual who does not respond to medication, allergen immunotherapy or also known as desensitization are said to be the standard effective treatment in eliminating the symptoms of such condition.