Complications of hay fever

Hay fever can lead to complications such as sinusitis and middle ear infections (otitis media). It can also have a significant impact on your daily activities.

In one study, a third of adults with hay fever reported that their symptoms had a considerable negative impact on their work, home and social life.

Children's symptoms can disrupt their schooling and lead to delays in learning and development.Unfortunately, the peak of the grass pollen season coincides with the annual GCSE examinations.

In most cases, the negative impact can be reduced with treatment. However, seeyour GP if you're concerned that hay fever is becoming an increasingproblem in your (or your childs) life.

You should also make extra efforts to limit exposure to pollen.

This is called Sinusitis and it can cause pain and tenderness in the face (near the affected sinuses). You may experience a throbbing pain that's worse when you move your head, and toothache or pain in your jaw when you eat.

The swelling of the nasal passages that occurs in hay fever can prevent mucus from draining out of the sinuses. This can make them more vulnerable to infection.

Sinusitis can usually be treated using over-the-counter painkillers. If yoursymptoms persist, antibiotics and corticosteroid tablets or sprays may be required.

Middle ear infection (otitis media)

Hay fevercan lead to a middle ear infection if the Eustachian tube (the thin tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the nose) becomes blocked by a build-up of mucus.

Middle ear infections aremore common in children, because their Eustachian tube is smaller than an adult's and can become blocked more easily.

Most middle ear infections will clear up within 72 hours without the need for treatment. Further treatment is usually only necessary if ear infections keep on occurring.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016