Hay Fever Disease
Bouts of sneezing occurring in a particular season in medical terminology called seasonal allergic rhinitis and in layman language hay fever is the commonest form of allergy.Hay fever does not have any connection with hay.It is the seasonal occurrence of sneezing and running of the nose with congestion in the nose and itching in the eyes and nose.Year after year these symptoms occur in a patient in the same seasons while in other months he feels perfectly normal.It may occur in children or in older people but mostly it occurs among young people.Males and females are equally effected by it.The symptoms may be mild or very severe and distressing.
Hay fever occurs in those who have inherited an allergic background.As the pollens to which they are allergic appear in the air in a particular season of the year the symptoms of the disease occur seasonally.
The onset of sneezing may be gradual or quite sudden depending on the degree of exposure to the particular pollens to which the patient is allergic.When the onset is gradual the attack is usually preceded by a mild sensation of itching and burning of the eyes or mild irritation in the nose or itching of the palate inside the mouth.Attacks of sneezing start especially in the early hours of the morning when there is a sudden increase in the concentration of pollens in the air.Marked nasal congestion and profuse running of the nose and eyes follow the sneezing paroxysms.
As the attack progresses the nasal mucous membrane becomes highly sensitive and responds with sneezing to small stimuli which were previously innocuous such as the slightest draft strong odours or minute amounts of dust.
Many patients suffering from hay fever also complain of various constitutional symptoms such as lassitude, loss of appetite, drowsiness, etc.Some of these symptoms may be due to the self administration of antihistamine drugs.
Accompanying Asthma: In some patients symptoms of bronchial asthma also appear.They may start at the onset of the disease or appear later.In certain cases along with the symptoms of hay fever there is a cough only and no bronchial spasm.Symptoms of cough and asthma may continue even when attacks of sneezing cease.Diagnosis of the condition is not difficult and is revealed by the case history.
In the treatment of such cases it is important to find out the pollen or pollens to which the patient is allergic.This is done by means of skin tests with the extracts of the pollens.Scratch or intracutaneous tests giving positive reactions for the pollens coupled with a confirmation of the same through consultation of the pollen calendar, confirms the causative pollens.
Treatment: Hyposensitization with the incriminated pollens yields excellent results in this condition.