What Is Hay Fever?
Hay fever is another name for allergic rhinitis and is most commonly used to describe a seasonal reaction to pollen and mold. These allergic reactions can come from exposure to airborne pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, and to mold spores. However, despite its name, hay fever is not necessarily caused by exposure to hay, nor does it cause a fever!
The symptoms of hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, are sometimes confused with those of a cold or other viral condition — but instead of being caused by a virus, it is caused by your immune system overreacting to something in the environment that typically would not cause a problem in most people.
Two Types of Allergic Rhinitis:
-Seasonal: Typically caused by a sensitivity to airborne pollens and mold spores and occurs in the spring, summer, and fall.
-Perennial: Symptoms occur year-round and are generally caused by pet dander, mold, dust mites, or cockroaches.
People can experience both types of allergic rhinitis, with year-round symptoms that get worse when they are exposed to the seasonal triggers to which they are allergic.
Learn how our team of board-certified specialists at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia diagnoses and treats hay fever.
Hay Fever Symptoms and Treatments
Symptoms of Hay Fever
Identified as a group of symptoms that affect your nose and airways, common symptoms include:
- Runny nose.
- Itchy eyes, mouth, or skin.
- Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion.
- Fatigue (often reported due to poor quality sleep as a result of nasal obstruction).
Typically, patients allergic to tree pollen may begin experiencing symptoms as early as February in the south and tree pollen levels can remain elevated through May. If allergic to grass pollen, you can expect to be impacted from March well into the summer months. Weed pollen, specifically ragweed, will cause problems for those allergic from late summer until the first frost here in the southern U.S. If you are allergic to more than one of the seasonal pollens or molds, you may experience symptoms for most of the year!
Your Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia provider will diagnose your allergic triggers through a thorough history, physical exam, and allergy skin testing. Identifying your specific allergies leads to more effective treatment plans and better health - and an overall better quality of life!
Once your Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia expert identifies your allergies, they will recommend a plan to control your symptoms. Management plans and treatments can include:
- Avoidance and environmental control measures
- Over the counter medications
- Prescription medications
- Allergy Immunotherapy, allergy shots or drops
Ways to Manage Your Hay Fever Symptoms in Your Environment:
It’s no secret that we Georgians love to take advantage of the warm weather of spring and summer — making managing our allergy symptoms a challenge. Here are some quick tips to help reduce our symptoms:
- Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors.
- Change your clothes and shower when you return to your home.
- Clean your home and change air filters often.
- Wipe down pets after they have been outside.
- Keep your windows closed and run the AC — especially on high pollen count days.
- Follow your local pollen counts and adjust outdoor activities as needed.
Seek Allergy Treatment at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia
If you are suffering from spring allergies, let our team at Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia help you find lasting relief. We will help you feel better this spring and develop a program to help you feel better now and keep you well and free of allergy-related problems in the future.