Hay Fever

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common condition that shows signs and symptoms similar to a cold with sneezing, congestion, runny nose and sinus pressures. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about hay fever in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a reaction to pollen. Sometimes symptoms are caused by molds or flakes of animal skin from pets. If pollen is the cause, you will feel worse when pollen levels are high.

Allergens cause your body to respond with an allergic reaction. When you are exposed to something you are allergic to, your body releases chemicals. One of these chemicals is histamine, which is your bodys defense against the allergen. The release of histamine causes swelling, itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

You can get some treatments over the counter. Antihistamines can help reduce sneezing, runny nose and itchiness. Decongestants can help relieve stuffy nose.

If over-the-counter medicines are not helping, your doctor may prescribe other treatments, such as nasal steroid sprays, eye drops or allergy shots.

The best way to cope with hay fever is to avoid the allergens that cause it.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.