Hay fever

Hay fever is basically an allergic reaction. It occurs as a response of the immune system to the presence of a foreign material in the air breathed in. A reaction is triggered by allergens such as mold and pollen.

What are the indications?

The characteristic indications of hay fever include the following:

  • Postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Sensation of having plugged ears
  • Itchiness of the nose, ear canal, soft palate, eyes and/or skin
  • Watery, bloodshot eyes
  • Difficulty sleeping
    Hay fever

    Itchiness of the nose, ear canal, soft palate, eyes and/or skin.

When to seek medical care

A doctor should be consulted if the following are present:

  • Symptoms that do not seem to improve with self-care measures
  • Ear pain or discharge
  • Fever that does not settle
  • Sore throat that becomes worse
  • Nasal secretions that are colored, bloody or dense

Bring the individual to the nearest emergency department if the following are present along with an allergic reaction:

  • Very high fever
  • Bleeding that could not be controlled
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drainage from the ear or an intense earache

Self-care measures at home

Avoidance of all suspected or known allergens must be observed. It is important to note that the symptoms of hay fever can be managed at home.

  • Gargle using warm salt water. You can use 1-2 tablespoons of table salt mixed in 8 ounces of warm water to help soothe a mild sore throat.
  • Use non-prescription antihistamines such as diphenhydramine to alleviate the symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes and throat.
  • When dealing with a stuffed nose, a combination of an antihistamine and a decongestant can be used.