Hay fever, commonly known as allergic rhinitis, results in symptoms similar to a cold. But hay fever is not a virus-based illness like a cold. Hay fever is an allergic response to outdoor or indoor substances.
Signs of hay fever include:
- Sneezing and coughing
- A watery or clogged nose
- Itchy, red, or watery eyes
- Prickly throat, mouth, nose, and ears
- Loss of smelling sense
- Pain around your forehead
- Head pain
- Feeling exhausted
If you have asthma, you will experience the following:
- Having a tense feeling in your chest
- Short of breath
- Wheeze and cough often
Hay fever will stay for a couple of days, weeks, or months, unlike a cold that usually goes out after 1 to 2 weeks.
What brings on hay fever?
An allergic reaction to pollen is hay fever; pollen is a fine powder from plants; typically, hay fever occurs in contact with your mouth, nose, eyes, and throat.
How to manage hay fever on your own
Hay fever is generally unavoidable and currently incurable.
- Apply Vaseline around your nostrils to entrap pollen.
- Wear sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes
- Shower and change your clothes regularly after you have been outside
- Mostly stay indoors whenever possible
- Always keep your windows and doors shut as much as possible
- Purchase a pollen filter for your car and use a vacuum cleaner
- Try to stay indoors and avoid unwanted contact with other people if you are not feeling well enough to do your usual activities
Treating hay fever
Your doctor might prescribe a steroid treatment, such as a steroid nasal spray.
If steroids and other remedies do not work, your doctor may refer you for immunotherapy. This implies you’ll be offered small amounts of pollen as an injection or tablet to build up your immunity to pollen slowly.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022