Hay fever, how it manifests itself

The allergic rhinitis is known by everyone as hay fever precisely because it manifests with cold-like symptoms.

In particular:

  • Runny nose
  • congestion
  • sneezing
  • nasal obstruction

These symptoms may be accompanied by headaches, reduced sense of smell, and ocular symptoms. It is caused by an Allergic reaction to external or internal allergens (pollen, mites, dust or animal hair).

This is a very common disorder that affects 1 in 5 people: the immune system considers certain substances that are usually harmless to be harmful, producing specific antibodies (IgE) to counteract them.

IgE, in turn, binds to other cells of the immune system, mast cells, which release histamine, a substance that causes arterial capillaries to dilate and watery mucus to secrete. It also stimulates nerve endings causing the itching sensation and sneezing, and finally draws blood plasma into the tissues and that is why edema of the affected part occurs.

Some individuals have symptoms year-round

Some people have symptoms year-round, others suffer only at particular times of the year such as summer or spring because there are certain allergens in the air responsible for the symptoms.

These allergens are pollens of grasses, composites (mugwort, ragweed, meadowsweet), trees (birch, olive, cypress, oak), or environmental, such as mites, molds, different substances of occupational use (latex, wood sawdust, resins, cereals).

For diagnosis, it is a good idea to visit a allergy specialist or certain blood tests that measure levels of specific IgE produced by the body toward a particular allergen may also be useful.

It is good to start treatment Before the onset of some complications such as sinusitis, otitis media and the evolution of allergic disease into bronchial asthma.

Treatment involves the use of antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops or the specialist will prescribe a more effective treatment in the long term.