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What Can You Do About Hay Fever?

Do you have itchy eyes, a runny nose, or sneezing from being around certain allergens? If you do, you probably have hay fever. This allergy, sometimes referred to as allergic rhinitis, shares its symptoms with the cold. However, unlike the cold, a virus isn’t behind these symptoms. Instead, it’s the body having a reaction to allergens like dust mites, pollens, or even the saliva or skin from animals. While hay fever isn’t usually serious, it can be aggravating if the symptoms last for longer than a week. Going through life while sneezing, having itchy eyes, and being congested is definitely not fun. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to combat hay fever.

Do you have Hay Fever?

First, you need to determine if your symptoms are caused by hay fever, a cold, or something else. Here are the common signs of a hay fever:

• Itchy or watery eyes
• Runny nose
• Nasal congestion
• Coughing
• Sneezing
• Swollen skin underneath your eyes
• Postnasal drip
• Feeling tired

One thing to do while trying to determine if you’re dealing with hay fever is to record the times you’re dealing with these symptoms and see if you can match them up to things such as tree pollen, grass pollen, or ragweed. These are seasonal issues that occur in the early spring, late spring/summer, and fall, respectively. If you notice that your symptoms are worse in one of these seasons, then you probably have hay fever connected to a pollen.

If, on the other hand, you have issues all year round, you may be dealing with an indoor allergen such as pet dander, dust mites, or even cockroaches. You may notice that your symptoms are worse in the winter, which is when your home is generally more closed up since you’re trying to keep your heat in.

If you’re allergic to mold spoors, you may have issues that occur both all year round and in the spring. An allergy test is usually the best way to determine if mold is at fault.

Hay Fever vs Cold

With a cold, most of the symptoms will disappear within seven days unless you’re repeatedly exposed. You may also have a low grade fever, body aches, and you’ll notice that your mucus appears a yellowy color. With hay fever, despite its name, there is no actual fever. Your mucus will also usually be fairly thin and plain in color rather than yellow.

Treating Hay Fever

The first thing to do is to identify the source of your allergy and then do your best to avoid it. If your hay fever is fairly mild, you can also take over-the-counter solutions. Taking antihistamines and decongestants can also help.

However, if it’s severe or worsens, you may need a prescription medication. Nasal spray (nasal corticosteroids) are fairly common, and some of these are even available over-the-counter. Other medications such as cromolyn sodium, leukotriene modifiers, or having allergy shots regularly can also help you deal with hay fever.


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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.