Hay Fever

What is Hay Fever? 

  • Hay fever is swelling of the lining inside of the nose.
  • Hay fever is also called allergic rhinitis.
  • The swelling is caused by breathing in something to which you are allergic (an allergen).

Some common allergens include:

  • Pollen from trees, grasses and weeds
  • Mold
  • Animals
  • House dust mites
  • Other triggers such as air pollution, dry air, strong odors and smoke can also make hay fever worse.


What Are The Signs of Hay Fever?

  • A stuffy or runny nose and cough lasting longer than two weeks
  • Sneezing more often than normal
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat
  • Watery, red, puffy eyes
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing


When Does Hay Fever Occur?

  • Some people have symptoms of hay fever year round.
  • Other people have hay fever that only occurs in certain seasons or after exposure to triggers such as pets.


How Do You Treat Hay Fever?

  • An important part of treating hay fever is to first identify your allergies.
  • Remove, avoid or reduce exposure to your allergy triggers and irritants, like tobacco smoke.
  • Keep doors and windows shut during pollen season and limit outdoor activity during this time.
  • Antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays are the most commonly used medicines to treat hay fever.
  • Talk to your doctor about the right medicine for you.
  • Decongestant nasal sprays will help, but should be used for no more than 3-5 days. Longer use can increase nasal symptoms.
  • Allergy shots are sometimes used for people with severe hay fever and seasonal problems to grass, tree or weed pollen.
  • Allergy shots are given to make a person less sensitive to their allergens.
  • Speak to your doctor to learn more about hay fever.


How Does Hay Fever Affect Asthma?

  • The nose, windpipe and airways in the lungs make up the respiratory system.
  • Hay fever affects the nose and asthma affects the lungs.
  • The nose acts as a filter to the airways. The nose also warms up and adds moisture to the air before it enters the lungs.
  • Anything that affects the nose can also affect the airways in the lungs.
  • Many people who have hay fever also have asthma.
  • Hay fever that is not treated can make asthma worse.


Asthma Allie Says:

"Treating hay fever can improve your asthma control!"


The Children's Allergy & Asthma Education Centre © 2013