Hay Fever also referred to as allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like signs and symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, and sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a cold, Hay Fever isn’t caused by a virus. Hay Fever is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Some people have symptoms year-round, while others experience symptoms in the spring, summer or fall. Complications of the Hay Fever include poor sleep, reduced quality of life, worsening asthma, sinusitis and ear infection (in children).
If you think you may have Hay Fever, if your symptoms are ongoing and bothersome if allergy medications are either not working for you or are causing problematic side effects, or you have other conditions that may worsen Hay Fever symptoms including nasal polyps, asthma or frequent sinus infections, you should see your doctor.
There is no proven way to avoid catching Hay Fever in the first place. If you have Hay Fever, the best thing you can do is to take steps to lessen your exposure to the allergens that cause your symptoms. If you know you are going to be exposed to Hay Fever triggers then you may start taking your medication before your symptoms start, but only at your doctor’s recommendation.