Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like signs and symptoms, such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a cold, hay fever isn't caused by a virus. Hay fever is caused by an allergic response to outdoor or indoor allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or tiny flecks of skin and saliva shed by cats, dogs and other animals with fur or feathers (pet dander).
Besides making you miserable, hay fever can affect your performance at work or school and generally interfere with your life. But you don't have to put up with annoying symptoms. You can learn to avoid triggers and find the right treatment.
Causes-When you have hay fever, your immune system identifies a harmless airborne substance as harmful. Your immune system then produces antibodies to this harmless substance. The next time you come in contact with the substance, these antibodies signal your immune system to release chemicals such as histamine into your bloodstream, which cause a reaction that leads to the signs and symptoms of hay fever.
Symptoms--Hay fever signs and symptoms can include:
·         Runny nose and nasal congestion
·         Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
·         Sneezing
·         Cough
·         Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
·         Swollen, blue-colored skin under the eyes (allergic shiners)
·         Postnasal drip
·         Fatigue
Seasonal factors
Your hay fever signs and symptoms may start or worsen at a particular time of year. Triggers include:
·         Tree pollen, which is common in early spring.
·         Grass pollen, which is common in late spring and summer.
·         Ragweed pollen, which is common in fall.
·         Dust mites, cockroaches and dander from pets can occur year-round (perennial). Symptoms to indoor allergens might worsen in winter, when houses are closed up.
·         Spoors from indoor and outdoor fungi and molds are considered both seasonal and perennial.

Risk factors- The following can increase your risk of developing hay fever:
·         Having other allergies or asthma
·         Having atopic dermatitis (eczema)
·         Having a blood relative (such as a parent or sibling) with allergies or asthma
·         Living or working in an environment that constantly exposes you to allergens — such as animal dander
·         Having a mother who smoked during your first year of life

Complications--Problems that may be associated with hay fever include:
·         Reduced quality of life. Hay fever can interfere with your enjoyment of activities and cause you to be less productive. For many people, hay fever symptoms lead to absences from work or school.
·         Poor sleep. Hay fever symptoms can keep you awake or make it hard to stay asleep, which can lead to fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise).
·         Worsening asthma. Hay fever can worsen signs and symptoms of asthma, such as coughing and wheezing.
·         Sinusitis. Prolonged sinus congestion due to hay fever may increase your susceptibility to sinusitis — an infection or inflammation of the membrane that lines the sinuses.
·         Ear infection. In children, hay fever often is a factor in middle ear infection (otitis media).
Homoeopathic medicines are best for treating and preventing hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Some of the important remedies are given below.

ALLIUM CEPA 30- Allium cepa is one of the top remedies for allergic rhinitis and it is prescribed when there is watery discharge from the eyes  along with running nose. The watery discharge from the nose is thin and acrid. But the discharge from the eye is bland. The eyes become red and sensitive to light. There is burning in the nose and eyes. The patient feels better in the open air.

ARSENIC ALBUM 30- Arsenic alb is another effective medicine for allergic rhinitis with intense thirst.The patient has great thirst for small quantities of water at frequent intervals.  There is copious watery excoriating discharge from the nose. It is prescribed when there are   scanty nasal discharge with a stuffy nose and sneezing.  The patient is  restless and have anxiety. . The complaints are getting worse in open air.

NATRUM MURIATICUM 200- Natrum muriaticum is best for allergic rhinitis  with much sneezing, which starts from sneezing only .There is intense dryness of mouth and the mucous membranes.Fluent coryza changing in to stoppage of nose. Loss of smell and taste. The discharge from the nose is thin and watery and resembles the white of an egg. The patient has an increased craving for salt.
SABADILLA 30-Sabadilla is prescribed when  there is excessive sneezing with a constant running nose. Coryza with spasmodic sneezing. Severe frontal pains, redness and watering of eyes, sore throat beginning left side and tough mucus. Symptoms better from  hot  food and hot drinks. Worse cold and cold drinks. No thrist

ARUNDO 30-Arundo is an effective medicine for allergic rhinitis with intense itching in the palate and the nose. There is a severe burning and itching in the nose, in the eyes and the roof of the mouth. Sense of smell becomes diminished.

AMBROSIA 30—Ambrosia is best for allergic rhinitis with lachrymation and intolerable itching of the eyelids. There is watery discharge from the nose and much sneezing. Stuffed up feeling in nose and head. There is irritation of trachea and bronchial tubes with asthmatic  attacks.

ARSENIC IODIDE 30-Arsenic iodide is another effective drug for allergic rhinitis with sneezing. There is running of thin excoriating discharge from the anterior and posterior sinuses. There is chronic nasal catarrh. Profuse, thick, yellow, discharge and ulceration of nostrils. Nasal membrane sore and excoriated.

MERCURIUS SOL. 30-Merc sol is best for allergic rhinitis with sensitivity to heat and cold, and the patient cannot tolerate either heat or cold. There is much sneezing and watery discharge from the nose. The patient is worse even in damp or wet weather.

PHLEUM PRATENSIS 30- Phleum pratensis is best for allergic rhinitis and it is considered a specific remedy for allergic rhinitis.

NAPHTHALINE 30- Naphthaline is an almost specific as preventive and curative in hay fever. There is excoriating discharge from the eyes and nose. The eye lids are swollen. In Naphthaline there is a tendency to asthma.

HISTAMINUM 1000- Histaminum is effective for treating allergic rhinitis. It is allergic to dust, smoke and perfumes. There is allergic catarrh and coryza.

SANGUINARIA CANADENSIS 30- Sanguinaria can. is effective for hay fever due to smelling of flowers and odours. Sensitive to flowers. The hands and feet burn, the patient keeps them out of bed for relief.

SULPHUR 200- Sulphur is best for hay fever due to allergy for eggs, butter, animal fats, fish , feathers , or use of feather pillows etc.. It is  to be used as an intercurrent remedy when well selected remedies fail.  

TUBERCULINUM 200- Tuberculinum is always good to start the treatment of allergic rhinitis. It cuts short the duration of the attack and sometimes completely cures the patient. It should be given once in fortnight , four doses only and thereafter it need only be repeated every sis months for about two years.

Prevention-There's no way to avoid getting hay fever. If you have hay fever, the best thing to do is to lessen your exposure to the allergens that cause your symptoms.Homoeopathic medicines like Natrum muriaticum  30 and Naphthaline 30 are used as a preventive for allergic rhinitis.

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