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
- Runny nose
- Sensation of having plugged ears
- Itchiness of the nose, ear canal, soft palate, eyes and/or skin
- Watery, bloodshot eyes
- Difficulty sleeping
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.