May also be called: Hay Fever; Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis; Seasonal Allergies
Allergic rhinitis (often called "hay
fever" or seasonal allergies) are allergy
symptoms that occur during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release
their spores or trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air
to fertilize other plants.
More to Know
Allergic rhinitis causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose, and
postnasal drip. Because it's commonly called "hay fever," you might think it's only
related to outdoor or seasonal allergies, but many indoor allergens also cause it.
Allergies to pollen, dust, mold, and many other allergens (substances that cause
allergic reactions) often begin in early childhood. The immune systems of people who
are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these allergens as invaders and release
chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them. It's
the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms.
There is no real cure for seasonal allergies, but it is possible to relieve symptoms.
Start by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens. During allergy season, keep
windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts
People with seasonal allergies should wash their hands or shower and change
clothing after being outside, and should not mow the lawn, as this kicks up pollen
and mold spores.
If reducing exposure isn't possible or effective, medicines can help ease allergy
symptoms. If symptoms cannot be managed with medicines, a doctor may recommend seeing
an allergist or immunologist for regular allergy
shots (immunotherapy), which can help desensitize someone to allergens.
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