Hay fever

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to seasonal pollen.

Overview

Hay fever is an allergic reaction to seasonal pollen. It presents with a clear, watery nasal discharge, itching and sneezing. It often also affects the eyes, causing red, watery and itchy eyes. Sufferers should take note of the pollen calendar and current reports in order to avoid contact with the triggers as best as possible.

Symptoms

  • Rhinitis
  • Eyes (conjunctivitis)
    • Feeling of something in your eye
    • Redness
    • Itching
    • Swelling
    • Watery eyes

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases (atopic tendency)
  • Triggers for allergic rhinitis
    • Pollen (seasonal, true hay fever)
    • Animal hair, mould fungi, house dust mites, food (all year round)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Skin allergy test
  • Blood test (antibodies)
Possible therapies
  • Avoidance of trigger
  • Nasal irrigation with salt water
  • Antihistamine
  • Nasal spray containing cortisone, if necessary (anti-inflammatory)
  • Specific immunotherapy (hyposensitisation, “allergy vaccination”)

What can I do myself?

  • Measures during pollen season (exposure prevention)
    • Take note of pollen calendar and current reports
    • Take account of daytime fluctuations
    • Don't do outdoor sports during “high pollen season”, if necessary
    • Regularly wash your hair at night and don't take off your street clothes in the bedroom
    • Air rooms only briefly
  • Cooling of swollen eyes
  • Don’t smoke

When to see a doctor?

  • Symptoms constantly grow worse and more burdensome (adjust treatment)
    • Impacts your well-being, performance and productivity
  • To enquire about immunotherapy
  • Severe allergic reaction

Further information

Swiss Allergy Centre (Allergiezentrum Schweiz)
www.aha.ch

Synonyms

hay fever, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, seasonal rhinitis, pollinosis, rhinitis allergica

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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