Hay fever is the common name of allergic rhinitis. It is caused by pollen, dust and chemical substances in the air and affects people who are allergic to them. Pollen from plants that bloom in a certain season is the most widespread cause of hay fever. In fact, it is called hay fever because it usually appears at the time of haying. In the northern part of the globe, hay fever is most common in the months of May and June, but there are people who suffer from it during the whole year.
There is no one single plant or one single group of plants whose pollen causes allergic reactions. Determining which plant’s pollen is causing you trouble depends on where you live. Climate can also be a factor in the extent of allergic reaction that a person experiences. If you live in a damp and wet climate with lots of rain, you are likely to suffer less from hay fever than people who live in dry and hot climates. The reason is pretty simple. Pollen is carried by wind and rain brings it down to the ground.
Symptoms also depend on the sensitivity of the individual’s immune system. People with a weaker immune system may suffer from excessive amounts of mucus, itches and swelling. Moreover, those who are extremely sensitive may find themselves afflicted by rashes. In addition to these immediate symptoms, depression, headaches and asthma have also been linked to hay fever.
As regards treatment, the best way to alleviate all hay fever symptoms is to completely avoid contact with the allergen, i.e. pollen or dust particles. This may be impossible unless you intend to move to a completely different climate. If you cannot completely avoid allergens, however, the next best thing is to reduce contact to the minimum. This does not mean that you should not leave your house, just make sure to take extra precautions. If you do not have to leave your house in the mornings and evenings when the amount of pollen in the air is the highest, then stay indoors or use a vehicle to reach your destination. Also make sure to wash your clothes regularly because they may collect pollen and dust and increase your risk of exposure. Wash your hands and body more often during pollen season and use nasal spray that can clean your nose from pollen and dust particles.