May 05, 2014
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....but So is Hay Fever

Spring is in the air, and so are billions of tiny pollens that trigger allergy symptoms in millions of people. This condition is called seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever.

What's the Problem with Pollen?
Hay fever is caused by pollen carried in the air, which starts a chain reaction in your immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. For instance, if you have an allergy to pollen, the immune system identifies pollen as an invader, or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).  These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.

Hay fever can affect your quality of life. It can lead to sinus infections, disrupt your sleep, and affect your ability to learn at school or be productive at work.

Hay fever symptoms include:

  • Itchiness in your nose, throat, eyes, and ears, and on the roof of your mouth
  • Sneezing
  • Suffy nose (congestion)
  • Runny nose
  • Tearing eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes.

Know Your Sneezing Season
Depending on where you live, there are generally three pollen seasons. The start and end dates of these seasons, as well as the specific plants, vary based on the climate.

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