7 Things You Didn't Know About Hay Fever

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman, APC, CRC on August 15, 2021
  • woman-running-through-field-with-arms-raised
    The Facts Will Set You (Allergy) Free
    For those who suffer from hay fever, there’s a lot to take in (and not just through the nose). For example, did you also know that hay fever is also referred to as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis? Here are a few more things you may be interested to learn.
  • woman-in-field-blowing-nose
    1. Hay fever has nothing to do with hay. Or a fever.
    No, you don’t have to eat hay, or even be around it, to have hay fever. And despite its name, it doesn't cause a fever. But you may be at risk for it if you: 1) Have other allergies or asthma, 2) have a blood relative with allergies or asthma, or 3) are constantly exposed to allergens, such as animal dander.
  • Woman Sneezing
    2. You may have year-round hay fever symptoms.
    Yes, hay fever can be seasonal, with symptoms triggered at a particular time of year by tree pollen, grasses or weeds, which all bloom at different times. But you can also have perennial hay fever with year-round symptoms if you're sensitive to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, cockroaches, mold or pet dander. If this is the case, your symptoms may be worse during certain times of the year.
  • cockroach on keyboard
    3. Cockroaches may be the culprit.
    Most people know that dust mites are an allergy trigger (and a yucky one at that!). But did you know that cockroaches can also be behind all that itching and sneezing? It may require a little extra effort in the house-cleaning department (washing dishes and taking out the garbage daily), but it can be worth it. You should also store food (including pet food) in sealed containers, fix leaky faucets and pipes, and block cracks and crevices where roaches can enter.
  • Doctor examining child
    4. It may be the cause of your child’s ear infection.
    Prolonged sinus congestion from hay fever can result in other complications, such as sinusitis (an infection or inflammation of the membrane that lines the sinuses). In children, it can often lead to middle ear infection (otitis media).
  • Home Interior Mold
    5. You can be molded into it.
    Mold is often overlooked as a potential hay fever trigger. To limit your exposure, use a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity, especially in the basement and in other damp places. Empty and clean it often. Clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement regularly, and if you do find mold, use a mild detergent and a 5% bleach solution (if ok’d by an allergist).
  • Nasal spray for allergies
    6. The nose leads the way to treatment.
    According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, intranasal corticosteroids (nasal sprays) are the single most effective drug class for treating allergic rhinitis. They are great for reducing nasal congestion as well as sneezing, itching and a runny nose, and don’t cause the usual side effects that often come with medicines taken by mouth or injection. Ask your doctor if these are the best choice for you.
  • Close up of a man doing breath exercises outdoor
    7. It will likely be a thing of the past.
    Although hay fever can begin at any age, you're most likely to develop it during childhood or early adulthood. The good (or not so good) news is that, often, the severity of reactions to hay fever changes over the years. And the really good news? For most, hay fever symptoms diminish slowly over time—though (sorry!), it may take decades.
7 Things You Didn't Know About Hay Fever

About The Author

Susan Fishman, APC, CRC is a veteran freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in health education. She is also an Associate Professional Counselor and Clinical Rehabilitation Counselor, adding mental health and wellness to her area of expertise.

You can follow Susan’s work at http://www.writingbyfishman.com/ or https://twitter.com/@fishmanwriting on Twitter.
  1. Allergic Rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
  2. Hay Fever. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20020827
  3. Hay Fever. NIH U.S. Library of Medicine, Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hayfever.html
  4. 5 Things to Know About Complementary Approaches for Seasonal Allergy Relief. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/allergies
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Last Review Date: 2021 Aug 15
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.