Hay Fever results from an allergy to inhaled dusts - usually grass pollen.

Hayfever is the common name for an allergic reaction of the nose, throat and eyes. It is mostly triggered ( set off) by breathing in pollens of certain grasses, weeds and trees. High pollen levels usually occur in spring and early summer. Some people have allergy symptoms all year. This is usually due to an allergy to animal dander, moulds or house-dust mite


Symptoms associated with hayfever:

Attacks, often seasonal, of:
*  sneezing
*  itchy, painful nose, throat.
*  nasal and sinus discharge.
*  stuffy, runny nose.
*  coughing
*  Watery, itchy eyes.
*  Head and nasal congestion.

Hay fever is an immune disorder characterised by an allergic response.

A hay fever attack can last between 15 and 20 minutes and may recur several times a day during your hay fever season. The attacks are usually not dangerous


Treatments

*  Mild cases of hay fever can be controlled with over-the-counter antihistamines.
*  Some over-the-counter nasal sprays contain both a decongestant and an antihistamine.
*  Be aware that over-the-counter nasal sprays and drops may be addictive and should be used sparingly.
*  Another avenue to try is allergy shots.

Personal Care

The best way to combat the allergens that are assaulting you is to avoid them.
*  Keep windows closed and the air conditioning turned on.
*  Avoid mowing your lawn or raking leaves since these activities stir up pollens. If you must do yard work yourself, wear a filtered mask and protective glasses. Wash your face, hands, and hair and rinse your eyes when coming in from outdoors to avoid leaving traces of pollen on your pillow.

Keep your house very clean and wear a mask while cleaning to avoid breathing in any allergens.

Dietary Considerations
It is advised that refined sugar and the protein in dairy products, are mucus-producing substances that are best avoided during hay fever season.

Some researchers believe that honey has a desensitising and anti-allergic effect that may relieve some hay fever symptoms.

Also it is advisable to avoid certain foods - wheat, eggs, peanut butter, dairy products, alcohol, white flour breads, biscuits and cakes if you are allergic to them as well as any other foods known to cause you problems (chocolate, shellfish, cheese, fish).

You may also try an elimination diet to pin point the particular foods which are the culprits.

Hayfever and your lifestyle