Hay fever (or seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction to pollen. In the spring and summer, people react to pollens which can be dispersed by trees, wheat and grass, and the level of symptoms often vary from person to person.
The reaction itself is due to sensitivity of each individual’s immune system, where the body perceives pollen as a threat. The body then releases chemicals which result in symptoms such as sneezing, a blocked nose and eye problems, which we will cover here.
The Breakdown of Symptoms of Hay Fever
Hay fever can vary in severity, usually depending on age, weather conditions and also pollen count. You may notice:
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose
- Tightness of the chest (if you suffer with asthma too)
In the Eyes
Hay fever can affect your eyes too. Here are the two main symptoms:
A common symptom of hay fever redness of the eye which is caused by inflammation and widening of blood vessels in part of the eye called the conjunctiva.
Irritation / Itching:
Irritation in the form of itchiness can occur. This can potentially be soothed, but is often a persistent symptom of hay fever.
Living with Hay fever
In order to help you to get on with life in spite of hay fever, we have some tips that could help you overcome the symptoms.
- Checking daily pollen counts, and trying to avoid or minimise contact with pollen is a basic measure that could lessen symptoms.
- Have an idea in your head when your most likely time of year is to feel the effects of symptoms. Some may be affected by hay fever in summer as opposed to spring, so it’s good to know when the season starts.
- Wearing sunglasses reduces exposure of pollens to your eyes.