The respiratory system is a complex group of organs that perform the same function – gas exchange. One of the most iconic parts of the respiratory system is the nose. It’s an essential part of the system because it’s where air passes through before it reaches the windpipe, the bronchi, and into the lungs.
One of the most common conditions is hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Hay fever is a common allergic reaction that affects the nose and nasal passages. Here’s everything you need to know about hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition in the United States, with over 20 million adults diagnosed in 2016. Among children, about 6.1 million had been diagnosed the same year. Seasonal hay fever usually occurs in spring, early fall, and summer.
Hay Fever Causes
Hay fever has an allergic condition that occurs when the immune system attacks allergens. People have their allergies, and it’s important to know you have one. Allergic rhinitis is commonly caused by proteins found in plants or substances. People with severe allergies are forbidden to touch or smell plants to prevent an allergic reaction.
Moreover, allergic rhinitis occurs when the allergy is triggered by pollen suspended in the air. When the person inhales the pollen, it creates an allergic reaction in the nasal passages, causing runny nose and other symptoms similar to common colds. Aside from pollen, common triggers include ragweed, trees, grasses, mold, and dust mites.
Signs And Symptoms Of Hay Fever
Hay fever or allergic rhinitis causes symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, itchy throat, and a congested nose. In more severe cases, other symptoms might arise, including loss of smell and taste, headaches, facial pain, sweats, throat itchiness.
Complications of Hay Fever
Hay fever affects the nose and ears, too. Acute or chronic sinusitis, sleep disturbance, palatal abnormalities, otitis media, palatal abnormalities, and eustachian tube dysfunction are a few of the possible complications of hay fever if it’s left untreated.
Treating Hay Fever
There are many treatment options for hay fever, both therapeutic and home remedies. Home treatment help reduce the symptoms, but the best way to manage the symptoms is to prevent exposure to pollen, dust, and mold by regularly cleaning and airing the house often. For those with outdoor exposure, always be updated with pollen count in your area.
Some of the home remedies include using a home dehumidifier to control mold formation, using saline sprays or neti pot for nasal congestion, saline nasal rinses, and drinking lots of fluids.
For medical treatment, doctors in Orem usually prescribe antihistamines, which help reduce the chances of a severe allergic reaction and corticosteroids, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation. For persistent and uncontrolled hay fever, there’s a treatment called immunotherapy where the patient is exposed to a small amount of pollen over time, to help build resistance to its allergic effects.
Hay fever can be troublesome, especially if it occurs often. The best way to reduce bouts is to protect oneself from exposure to common triggers.