Hay Fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to particles in the air. It cannot be passed from person to person. It cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

CAUSES

Hay fever is caused by something that triggers an allergic reaction (allergens). The following are examples of allergens:

  • Ragweed.

  • Feathers.

  • Animal dander.

  • Grass and tree pollens.

  • Cigarette smoke.

  • House dust.

  • Pollution.

SYMPTOMS

  • Sneezing.

  • Runny or stuffy nose.

  • Tearing eyes.

  • Itchy eyes, nose, mouth, throat, skin, or other area.

  • Sore throat.

  • Headache.

  • Decreased sense of smell or taste.

DIAGNOSIS

Your caregiver will perform a physical exam and ask questions about the symptoms you are having. Allergy testing may be done to determine exactly what triggers your hay fever. 

TREATMENT

  • Over-the-counter medicines may help symptoms. These include:

  • Antihistamines.

  • Decongestants. These may help with nasal congestion.

  • Your caregiver may prescribe medicines if over-the-counter medicines do not work.

  • Some people benefit from allergy shots when other medicines are not helpful.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Avoid the allergen that is causing your symptoms, if possible.

  • Take all medicine as told by your caregiver.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have severe allergy symptoms and your current medicines are not helping.

  • Your treatment was working at one time, but you are now experiencing symptoms.

  • You have sinus congestion and pressure.

  • You develop a fever or headache.

  • You have thick nasal discharge.

  • You have asthma and have a worsening cough and wheezing.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have swelling of your tongue or lips.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You feel lightheaded or like you are going to faint.

  • You have cold sweats.

  • You have a fever.