Skip to main content

Key Information About Hay Fever

Allergic Rhinitis

Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children worldwide are affected by this condition.


Congestion, inflammation, itchy mouth, sneezing, sinus pressure, itchy throat, coughing, itchy watery eyes, itchy nose and tiredness are some common symptoms of hay fever.

This condition produces a runny nose with a thin, watery discharge. These symptoms can be incredibly irritating to everyday life.

“Hay fever tends to fester in your eyes,” explains Alex Ionides, ophthalmic surgeon. “You’re likely to experience burning, stinging and swelling in the eyelids and conjunctiva – the clear tissue that covers the surface of your eyeballs – which may give you a runny nose, constant sneezing, and even blurred vision.” It is one of the more annoying symptoms of hay fever.

Hay Fever vs Common Cold

Hay Fever Common Cold

Caused by an allergen

Caused by virus

Usually lasts for many weeks

Lasts for around five days

Does not cause fever

Usually causes fever

Inflammation Caused by Hay Fever

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons


Allergic Response

Hay fever is caused by allergic response to allergens like pet dander, dust mites and pollen.

“Grass pollen is the primary trigger of pollen allergies during the summer months, and in humid climates like the UAE, the grass pollen season can last up to several months,” said Dr Pragati Agrawal, a specialist pulmonologist at NMC Royal Hospital, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.

You can get hay fever at any age, although it usually begins in childhood or during the teenage years.

Hay fever patients usually feel the symptoms worsen at night.

This is because during the day, hot air rises and carries pollen with it.

When the air cools, pollen falls back down and onto surfaces that you may come into contact with that trigger hay fever symptoms.

"During the introduction to a certain allergen, your immune system will decide whether to tolerate it or become sensitive. Becoming sensitive means that your immune system mistakes allergens like pollen for infections - in turn, your body releases chemicals called histamines into the blood which trigger hay fever symptoms," said Mr Pavol Surda, consultant ENT and rhinology surgeon at London Bridge Hospital.

Scroll to Continue

Streptococcus Salivarius

People with hay fever have a higher proportion of Streptococcus salivarius, a bacterial species, in their noses.

Pollen Enlarged 500 Times

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons



Doctors use antihistamine medicines to treat symptoms of hay fever. Intranasal corticosteroid sprays are effective against moderate to severe symptoms of this condition.

Probiotic modulation of the immune system relieves hay fever symptoms.

No one should have to live their lives inconvenienced by hay fever.

— Shelly Horton, Australian lifestyle and media commentator


In December 2022 Allergy Therapeutics PLC (AIM:AGY, OTC:AGYTF) dosed its first patient in a phase III trial for a new grass pollen vaccine.

Find out what substances you are allergic to. Reducing your exposure to these substances should ease your symptoms.

Improve Gut Health

Improving gut health by tucking into fibre-filled food such as beans, pulses and wholegrains can improve the way the body reacts to pollen.

Studies suggest that when gut microbes break down fibre they produce short-chain fatty acids that can regulate the way ‘mast cells’ work. These are the cells that release histamine, the chemical that causes hay fever symptoms.

Pet Dander Can Cause Allergic Reactions

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Allergy Fighting Foods


Flax seeds

Chia seeds








This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

Related Articles