Hay fever (or hayfever), also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that shows signs and symptoms similar to a cold with sneezing, congestion, runny nose and sinus pressures.
Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to airborne substances, such as pollen – unlike a cold which is caused by a virus. The time of year in which you get hay fever depends on what airborne substance you are allergic to.
Despite its name, hay fever does not mean that the person is allergic to hay and has a fever. Hay is hardly ever an allergen, and hay fever does not cause fever.
Although hay fever and allergic rhinitis have the same meaning, most lay people refer to hay fever only when talking about an allergic reaction to pollen or airborne allergens from plants or fungi, and understand allergic rhinitis as an allergy to airborne particles, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander which affect the nose, and maybe the eyes and sinuses as well.
Some people are only mildly affected by hay fever and rarely reach a point where they decide to seek medical advice. However, for many, symptoms may be so severe and persistent that they are unable to carry out their daily tasks at home, work or at school properly – these people will require treatment. Treatments may not get rid of the symptoms altogether, but they usually lessen them and make it easier to cope.
As with other allergies, the symptoms are a result of your immune system mistaking a harmless substance as a harmful one, and releasing chemicals that cause the symptoms.
It is estimated that about 20% of people in Western Europe and North America suffer from some degree of hay fever. Although hay fever can start affecting people at any age, it generally develops during childhood or perhaps early adulthood. The majority of hay fever sufferers find their symptoms become less severe as they get older.
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Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California provides relief from allergies, asthma, sinus problems, chronic cough and other related conditions. Dr. William E. Berger, Dr. Warner W. Carr, Dr. Mark S. Sugar, Dr. Simi Kapoor, and Dr. Christina Schwindt together with their staff specialize in allergy and immunology in Southern California.
If you or your child are suffering from hay fever or think you may have hay fever please Call (949) 364-2900 to schedule your appointment today. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule a future appointment.