What Are The Signs Of Hay Fever?

What Are The Symptoms Of Hay Fever?

Common Symptoms:

The common signs of hay fever include:

• Runny or blocked nose.
• Itchy nose, mouth, throat and eyes (often the first sign).
• Frequent sneezing.
• Watery, red eyes (very rarely hay fever affects the eyes only, with no nose problems).

Less Common Symptoms:

• Dryness of the throat, if the nose is also blocked, you end up breathing through your mouth.
• No sense of smell (but nasal polyps can also cause this).
• A sweaty, feverish feeling (despite your body temperature being normal).
• Earache, itching or stuffy feeling in the ears (glue ear).
• Swollen or inflamed eyelids, sometimes leading to blistering and blindness if not treated.

Some People Also Suffer:

• Itchy, tingly mouth - particularly after eating nuts or certain fruits. This condition is known as oral allergy syndrome and is caused by pollen on the food. Common foods that cause this reaction include apples, melons, carrots, celery and chamomile, bananas and sunflower seeds.
• Skin rash caused by pollen touching the skin - for example by coming into direct contact with a plant or mowing the lawn or using a strimmer.

Rare Symptoms:

• Soreness or irritation of the vagina.
• Migraine headaches.
• Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis), leading to puffiness of the hands and face.
• Joint pains.
• Stomach upsets, even colitis (inflammation of the bowels) caused by eating foods with pollen on them.

Other Conditions That Can Occur Alongside Hay Fever:

• Asthma - pollen asthma is where asthma is worse in the pollen season but the asthma usually persists all year round even if the hay fever clears up. Treating the hay fever with antihistamines helps considerably with the asthma symptoms.
• Chronic sinusitis
• Middle ear infections (otitis media)
• Decreased quality of sleep.

Next: How is hay fever diagnosed?


• Need more information about allergies? See:

What is hay fever? Definition of this condition.
How is hay fever treated? Medications for reducing symptoms.

Pollen Counts
What is a high pollen count? Looking at the weather forecasts.
How to avoid pollen at home. Stop pollen getting into the house.

What is an allergy? Defining allergies vs sensitivities.
Can allergies kill you? When a kiss can be lethal.
Are allergies becoming more common? See the statistics.
Do allergies run in families? The role of genetics.
Can you grow out of an allergy? Children and adults.

• Got another question? See: Allergy Questions

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