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Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

Last Updated: 7/18/2012
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Find Out More About:
Allergy Information - what are allergies.
Asthma which can be triggered by allergies or weather (check your Weather Forecast!).
Your Reaction to Allergens - the symptoms we call allergies.
Treatment Options for Hay Fever.
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Allergic Rhinitis (commonly called Hay Fever) is a reaction caused by inhaling airborne particles, such as pollen. These are called allergens. Out of the more than 67 million Americans who suffer from allergies, 24-40 million suffer from an airborne allergy, such as hay fever.

These allergies are caused by: pollen, pet dander, dust particles, and mold spores.

How Pollen and Allergy Particles Dispersed

During pollen season, plants like ragweed, cattail, and maple tree, release their pollen to initiate their reproductive processes with nearby plants of their species. This increases pollen levels in the surrounding areas. Pollens are carried by the wind, therefore not all of them reach their targets, and instead they land on people. This is why pollen is frequently present in the air we breathe.

Two Kinds of Rhinitis for Allergy Sufferers

Taking into account the airborne allergens listed above, there are two forms of allergic rhinitis: Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (also called Hay Fever or Pollinosis) and Perennial Allergic Rhinitis.

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis occurs during specific flowering periods during pollen season when plants are shedding their pollen. In general, trees flower in the spring, grasses in the summer and weeds in the fall.

Pollen forecasts that take into account the weather are important signals - pollen can't travel in the rain. The pollen forecast is a powerful tool for predicting high pollen days.

Perennial Rhinitis, on the other hand, is characterized for its year-round allergy symptoms. Most symptoms are due to pet dander, dust, and mold. The weather forecast will do little to help you prepare for these symptoms.

General Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

If you are sensitive to pollen, you will experience an allergic reaction. General allergy symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • clear, watery nasal discharge and congestion
  • itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • watery eyes

Any medical or health information included on Pollen.com is provided by IMS Health Incorporated, a non-medical professional organization. Information from external sources included on Pollen.com, including HealthDay News, are the responsibility of the third-party provider and not of IMS Health Incorporated.