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Hay Fever – Causes

Hay fever occurs when your immune system attacks allergens, which are most often harmless substances, such as pollen, certain foods, or house dust mites.

The exact cause of what results in such an abnormal immune response is unknown. However, there are a number of factors which can increase the risk of developing hay fever and these are:

  • Suffering from asthma or any other allergic condition, such as eczema
  • A family history of hay fever
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke and diesel exhaust particles in early childhood.

Symptoms also may be triggered by common irritants such as:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Strong odors, such as perfume, or hair spray and fumes
  • Cosmetics
  • Laundry detergents
  • Cleaning solutions, pool chlorine, car exhaust and other air pollutants (i.e., ozone).

When to see a doctor?

Many people get used to hay fever symptoms, so they might not seek treatment until the symptoms become severe. But getting the right treatment is crucial to avoid complications. Ideally, you should see a doctor, the moment you suffer the symptoms of hay fever. However, more so, if:

  • You are unable to get relief from your hay fever symptoms for a long time
  • Allergy medications don't provide relief or cause annoying side-effects
  • You have another condition that can worsen hay fever symptoms, such as nasal polyps, asthma or frequent sinus infections.

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