What is Hay Fever?
Allergy characterized by exaggerated immune response to pollen grains and other substances is known as Hay fever. It is also known as allergic rhinitis. It is basically of two types, seasonal and perennial. The allergy which occurs during the time of the year when certain plants pollinate is seasonal and which occurs throughout the year is perennial.
If you suffer from this kind of allergy during spring, you are probably allergic to tree pollen. In summer, grass & weed pollen would be the cause of your allergic reaction. During autumn, along with weeds, fungal spores cause problems and can be present through out the year.
For people with perennial hay fever, one or more allergens found indoors cause the problem. Dust mites in the house, animal dander and feathers, most of them found in pillows and beds, carpets and heavy draperies are the reasons for year round allergy. Mold found in damp areas like bathrooms and basements is another common allergen.
What causes Hay Fever?
If you are suffering from allergic rhinitis, it’s because your immune system considers inhaled pollen or other allergens as dangerous substances invading your body. As a consequence, your immune system will release chemicals like histamine and leukotrienes into the blood stream. These chemicals cause the inflammation in the lining of your nose, eyelids and sinuses. As a result other symptoms related to this allergy like sneezing will also set in.
These symptoms are for your body’s protection by blocking the entry of allergens either by trapping and expelling the allergen or by swelling of certain areas like the nose. Due to the effects of hay fever, dark circles may appear under your eyes. In case of perennial allergy, the dark circles will be present throughout the year. Hay fever may also lead to sinusitis or small & non-cancerous growths in nasal region. Due to this allergy, nosebleeds may also occur.
If you have a parent or sibling suffering with this condition, your chances of getting it also increases. This trait is inherited in most cases. Mild or intermittent allergic asthma occurs in one-third of the people suffering with this condition. People with health conditions like asthma or eczema are more likely to develop hay fever than others.