Hay fever is an allergic reaction in which the body reacts sensitively to the pollen of certain trees, plants, shrubs, grasses or flowers. Some people are allergic to one particular flowering crop, but you can also be hypersensitive to multiple pollen species.
Hay fever symptoms only occur during the flowering period of the plant or flower that causes the allergy. Hay fever is, therefore, medically known as seasonal allergic rhinitis. Common symptoms of hay fever include:
- Sneezing, tickling in the nose and/or throat;
- Runny or blocked nose;
- Itchy, watery and/or red eyes;
- Tightness and/or coughing;
- Dry mouth, burning sensation in the mouth, itchy palate;
- Hives, swollen skin.
The allergic reaction to hay fever is caused by the body's own histamine. Histamine, for example, dilates the blood vessels in the mucous membranes and attaches itself to certain nerve endings. This creates the symptoms that are typical of hay fever.
If you suffer from hay fever, you can take a number of measures to minimize the symptoms as much as possible:
- Keep windows and doors closed or attach special pollen screens to the windows; - Vacuum regularly and do not hang laundry outside to dry;
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes.