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Hay fever (pollen allergy)
Pollen from trees, weeds and grasses floats in the air. During warm weather, these allergens get in your child's eyes, nose and throat.
For most people, this causes no problems. If your child has allergies, these allergens cause a runny nose, coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. Your child is in the grasp of hay fever (pollen allergy).
Hay fever is nasal congestion that may occur in the spring or fall or last all year long. It doesn't cause actual fever and is not simply caused by hay.
Symptoms of hay fever are:
- nasal congestion
- itchy, watery, red eyes.
Common hay fever triggers
There is no cure for hay fever, but there are triggers that can make your child's hay fever worse. You can understand the triggers and learn how to avoid or control them.
Hay fever triggers include:
- secondhand smoke
- pet dander (such as dogs and cats)
- molds (such as in house plant soil, in the bathroom and in dried leaves)
- dust (such as found on stuffed animals, feather pillows, down-filled jackets and quilts, thick carpeting, heavy drapes, blinds and chenille bedspreads). Dust can be moved around by a forced air furnace. Be sure to clean your furnace filter often.
- pollens (especially ragweed, trees and grasses).
Common hay fever medicines
There are three common types of hay fever medicines:
- nasal sprays (These help keep allergic reactions from starting.)
- oral and nasal decongestants (These reduce congestion.)
- oral anti-histamines. (These stop symptoms like runny noses or itchy eyes that are from allergic reactions.)