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The Hayfever Relief Centre

Updated on May 5, 2010

It is estimated that 20 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from hay fever and this can have a major impact on their quality of life.

 

Definition

Hay fever is an immune system disorder where the body over reacts to grass, tree or weed pollen (allergens). Grass pollen is the most common allergen affecting hay fever sufferers. The grass pollen season runs from May to August. The tree pollen season runs from February to June. Weed pollens are released in September and October.

Causes

Pollen causes the activation of a certain type of antibody known as IgE. This antibody triggers the release of certain chemicals from cells in your nose, throat and eyes such as histamine, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response and the associated hay fever symptoms. The main causes of hayfever are as follows;

  • Hereditary (runs in the family)
  • Sex (boys have a higher risk of developing an allergy than girls)
  • Pollution - The chemicals found in diesel and petrol fumes combine with pollen particles, increasing the body’s inflammatory reaction to them. Pollution also traps pollen particles in the atmosphere, particularly in towns and cities, and holds it there.
  • Allergen levels
  • Climate change - Longer, warmer spring and summer seasons means the hay fever season is getting longer.
  • Hygiene hypothesis - This is based on the idea that hay fever is just one of the conditions caused because we are too clean, so people are growing up without being exposed to many germs. As a result our immune system doesn’t develop in the right way and allergies are more likely.
  • Nutritional deficiencies - There have been studies suggesting that deficiencies in certain nutrients could worsen allergies such as hay fever. This could be the case with both magnesium and vitamin D.

Symptoms

Symptoms result from the inflammation of the nasal passages, throat and eyes after inhaling pollen. The symptoms include;

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal itching
  • Itchy ears and throat
  • Post nasal drip (mucous runs down the back of the throat)
  • Earache
  • Sore throat
  • Sleep disturbances and snoring
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Itchy, sore and puffy eyes

The Hayfever Relief Centre is a non-profit making organisation that provides a wealth of useful information for hayfever sufferers and medical professionals alike.

The Hayfever Relief Centre has carried out extensive research on hayfever and the various treatments available and its main aims are to;

  • further educate people about this medical condition.
  • provide information regarding the main types of treatment available.
  • make people aware that their symptoms can be relieved, it's just a matter of finding the treatment that is right for them.

For further information please visit www.thehayfeverreliefcentre.co.uk.

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