hay fever

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hay fever,

seasonal allergyallergy,
hypersensitive reaction of the body tissues of certain individuals to certain substances that, in similar amounts and circumstances, are innocuous to other persons. Allergens, or allergy-causing substances, can be airborne substances (e.g.
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 causing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and eyes. It is characterized by itching about the eyes and nose, sneezing, a profuse watery nasal discharge, and tearing of the eyes. The cause is a sensitivity to one or more species of pollens or fungi. In addition, many patients with hay fever develop other allergic conditions, e.g., asthmaasthma
, chronic inflammatory respiratory disease characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in the chest. A cough producing sticky mucus is symptomatic.
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 and sinusitis. In the spring, hay fever may be caused by tree pollens (oak, elm, maple); in summer, by grass pollens, wheat or corn rusts, or fungus spores; in late summer and fall, by ragweed pollen, which is the most common cause. Temporary relief of symptoms may be obtained from antihistamines and decongestants, such as ephedrine. Physicians may resort to corticosteroids in severe cases. Sometimes desensitization measures are taken, consisting of repeated injections of small amounts of the allergen (pollen) until its presence produces no symptoms; however, the treatment must be continued from year to year, since immunity is not permanent. Some relief can be obtained by removing pollen from the air by air conditioners and filters.

Hay Fever

 

an allergic disorder in man, caused by sensitivity to the pollen of certain plant species. Hay fever belongs to the group of pollinoses. The disorder appears during the flowering of grasses and trees. Pollinoses may be spring, summer, or autumn reactions, depending on individual sensitivity to a certain species of pollen and on the time of flowering of the offending plant. Clinical manifestations include irritation of the mucous membranes of the nose and eyes and, less frequently, attacks of asthma. Treatment involves specific desensitization between attacks and the use of such symptomatic preparations as ephed-rine, Adrenalin, and antihistamine preparations during the allergy season. Prophylaxis includes changing the place of residence during the hay-fever season and other means of avoiding contact with the allergen.

hay fever

[′hā ‚fē·vər]
(medicine)
An allergic disorder of the nasal membranes and related structures due to sensitization by certain plant pollens. Also known as allergic rhinitis; pollinosis.

hay fever

an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, etc., characterized by sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes due to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose