Hayfever is very common and affects up to 20% of the population. Indeed, whenever the hot weather of spring and summer begins, so do the complaints of a runny nose, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat. Whilst hayfever is not life threatening, it can still make you feel unwell and therefore have a significant effect on your quality of life and ability to do day to day activities.
It is caused by an allergic response to a foreign protein. People are commonly allergic to fungus and moulds and these allergies will cause symptoms particularly in the spring and autumn. Oil seed rape allergy frequently causes symptoms in the spring, whilst grasses and tree pollens cause problems in the spring and summer. These allergies lead to inflammation that particularly affects the nose, eyes and throat. The predominant feature is often nasal with a running nose and sneezing. It often occurs in families and is associated with asthma and eczema.
Luckily, the symptoms of hayfever can usually be managed. Anti-histamine tablets are available now that do not cause drowsiness and these combined with nose sprays and eye drops to reduce the inflammation can greatly improve sufferers' quality of life through the warmer months.
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