Seasonal allergic rhinitis
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.
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.
Rhinitis, also known as Hay fever, is a common allergic condition. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. There's currently no cure for hay fever, but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment, at least to a certain extent.
Hay fever symptoms vary in severity and may be worse some years, depending on the weather conditions and pollen count. The time of year your symptoms start will depend on the types of pollen you're allergic to. Symptoms include frequent sneezing; a blocked or runny nose; itchy, red or watery eyes; etc.
It's unclear what causes the immune system to react in this way, but there are several factors that can increase your risk of developing hay fever. Risk factors include asthma and a family history of hay fever.
Your GP should be able to diagnose hay fever from a description of your symptoms. In some cases, you may be referred for allergy testing.
Before going to see your GP, you could visit your pharmacist and try to treat your hay fever symptoms with over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines. Make an appointment to see your GP if your symptoms don't improve after using antihistamines.
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.
It's very difficult to completely avoid pollen. However, reducing your exposure to the substances that trigger your hay fever should ease your symptoms. Rubbing a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) inside your lower nostrils can help to prevent pollen from entering your nasal passages.
Lisa Miles, from Kent, tried several different treatments before she found the right one for her. She tells how she relieves her hay fever symptoms.