Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)


This is an allergic reaction to pollen. Pollen is a fine powder that comes from trees, grass and weeds. Different people are allergic to different types of pollen, and they react to it in different ways. Hay fever can be a real nuisance.


Why do some people get hay fever? Well, an allergic reaction happens when your immune system overreacts to something that's actually harmless. In this case, it's pollen. Your body tries to fight the pollen like it's an invader. We call this an "allergic response." Along with pollen, you can have hay fever linked to things like mold, dust mites, and pet hair or dander.


Symptoms include sneezing, coughing and a runny or stuffy nose. You may have a sore throat and itchy, watery eyes. You may have a headache and sinus pressure. Your ears may feel full, and they may pop. And, some people develop a skin rash we call "hives."


Hay fever is treated with medicines to relieve your symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays and eye drops can help. You may benefit from allergy shots. These help your body get used to allergens. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan that's right for you.