What Is Hay Fever?

By: News Canada

(NC)-Well, it's not caused by hay, and it isn't a fever. In fact, " hay fever" is a complete misnomer. The term was first used by English doctors over a hundred years ago when they noticed that during the hay-cutting season, some people suffered sneezing fits, runny noses and itchy eyes.

The more accurate name for hay fever is seasonal allergic rhinitis. It's an allergic reaction that may cause a runny nose, red, itchy, watery eyes, pressure in the eyes, sore throat and headaches. Symptoms, in fact, which are deceptively similar to those of a cold.

There are two kinds of allergic rhinitis. The first is perennial allergic rhinitis and it affects people year round.

Since the substances causing the allergy - house dust, animals, mould - are found inside, it strikes mostly in the winter, when we're indoors the most.

The second, seasonal allergic rhinitis, is fairly easy to recognize, because it occurs at the same time each year. Pollen seasons vary according to the different types of pollen and the geographical location. It's important to know your pollen season, because medications like antihistamines are most effective if you start taking them before your peak season starts. To find out more about pollen levels in your area check the Claritin Pollen Forecast every 28 minutes past the hour on the Weather Network.

Also, it's important to be able to function normally while you to treat your allergy symptoms. Make sure to read your medication package properly because not all antihistamines are non-sedating. More specifically, look for the words "non-drowsy" on the box. With a little information and proper medication you will be able to control your hay fever and continue your outdoor activities this spring and summer season.

For more information on seasonal allergies contact 1-800-665-1507 or visit www.claritin.ca or catch the Claritin Pollen Forecast on the Weather Network at 28 minutes after the hour.

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