Hay fever is a common allergic condition. Symptoms of hay fever include:
- a runny nose
- itchy eyes
The symptoms of hay fever are caused when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen.
Pollen is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. Pollen contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses (small air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead) to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.
There is currently no cure for hay fever but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment. Treatment options for hay fever include antihistamines, which can help prevent an allergic reaction from happening and corticosteroids (steroids), which help reduce levels of inflammation and swelling. Many hay fever symptoms can be controlled with over-the-counter medication at your pharmacist.
NHS Choices – Find out more about hay fever, the causes, treatment and self help tips.
Videos from NHS Choices:
Hay fever is an allergy to pollen that affects around one in four people. An expert explains how it’s diagnosed, the symptoms and treatment.