Sometimes, in the middle of the day, my husband looks at me and asks me why I’m crying—It’s allergies. I’ve spoken before about allergies and things compared to them and even severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), but I don’t know if I’ve gone into specifics about hay fever.

Hay fever is scientifically called ‘allergic rhinitis.’ You can develop allergies at any time in your life; so you really shouldn’t be that surprised when you’re an adult with no symptoms and then suddenly you’re sneezing uncontrollably during spring. It’s caused by the immune system reacting to allergens in the air; usually pollen released during certain times of the year. Symptoms come down to sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, and itchy or watery eyes. However, if left untreated, hay fever can (but not always) be the cause of poor sleep, being sleepy during the day, poor concentration, reoccurring ear infections in children, reoccurring sinus infections in adults, and asthma. If you have a prior history of asthma, hay fever can make it worse.

So going about treating hay fever? You can get over-the-counter antihistamines, but it’s best to speak to your doctor about the best way to treat your specific case. Antihistamines can come in pills, syrups, nasal sprays, or even eye drops. There’s also intranasal corticosteroid sprays and sprays that combine these with antihistamines. Salt water nasal sprays and rinses can also relieve symptoms. Should you be suffering from a severe case of hay fever, your doctor may suggest seeing a specialist. You can then speak with your specialist about allergen immunotherapy, which is a series of injections that can reduce the severity of symptoms.

We’re going into winter now, so I’m not 100% sure what’s causing my allergies to act up but winter allergies aren’t uncommon either. Hopefully, you’ve got your allergies under control and aren’t randomly crying for no reason.

Info: Kids Health: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/seasonal-allergies.html

ASCIA: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts/hay-fever-allergic-rhinitis

Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hay-fever

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