Hay fever, also referred to as allergic rhinitis, is normally caused by our body’s extreme reaction to certain substances present in air such as, pollen, dust mites, fungi and mold spores, pet dander, etc. Hay fever is triggered when a victim’s immune system confuses a harmless foreign particle as a potential danger to the body and releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E to fight the threat. Though the symptoms of hay fever and common cold may seem alike, hay fever is on account of allergens in the air while common cold is caused by virus. Contrary to common thinking, hay fever is not caused by hay. In short, hay fever could be simply defines as a seasonal allergy characterized by sneezing fits, blocked nose, tickle in the roof of the mouth and sore, itchy eyes.
Some people develop hay fever only during some particular period of the year. That is because they are allergic to certain airborne substances present in the air during a particular season. In spring, the pollen allergens tend to come from the trees, in summer from grasses and in autumn from fungi. Studies show that approximately one out of every five persons in Western Europe and North America fall prey to some kind of hay fever at any point in time. Though hay fever is seen to affect people of any age group, the problem begins at a young age and slowly resolves on its own as the person reaches adulthood, and the allergic symptoms start decreasing slowly.