hay fever


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

hay fever

 
an atopic allergy characterized by sneezing, itching and watery eyes, nasal discharge, and a burning sensation of the palate and throat. It is a localized anaphylactic reaction to an extrinsic allergen, usually pollen or the spores of molds. When the allergen comes in contact with cell-bound immunoglobulin E in the tissues of the conjunctiva, nasal mucosa, and bronchial tree, the tissues release mediators of anaphylaxis and produce the characteristic symptoms of hay fever.

The amount of pollen in the air varies with the season and geographic area. East of the Rocky Mountains, the peak of the regional hay fever season occurs between mid-August and mid-September, when the air is heavy with the pollen of the ragweed plant. An appreciable number of hay fever sufferers are also reactive to the spring pollens from grasses and trees. Mold-bearing plants such as wheat, barley, and corn are prevalent in the agricultural areas of the Midwest, and attacks of hay fever caused by mold spores are common there as these crops ripen.

Hay fever should be recognized as more than a mere nuisance. By causing lack of sleep and loss of appetite, it can lower the body's resistance to disease. It can cause inflammation of the ears, sinuses, throat, and bronchi. Some hay fever sufferers develop asthma.

Hay fever can be relieved, although not cured, by antihistamines and sympathomimetic drugs such as ephedrine and phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride. loratadine and desloratadine are newer antihistamines that do not cause the drowsiness, mental dullness, and sleepiness that were traditionally associated with antihistamines. cromolyn is also an effective therapy, supplied in an inhaler that produces a spray of droplets to settle on the nasal mucosa and relieve symptoms of hay fever. A series of preventive injections (desensitization or hyposensitization) may be recommended in advance of the hay fever season. This consists of administering controlled and gradually increasing amounts of the offending substance in order to develop a certain amount of immunity. Air conditioning may help give relief by filtering much of the pollen from the air.
nonseasonal hay fever (perennial hay fever) nonseasonal allergic rhinitis.

hay fe·ver

a form of atopy characterized by an acute irritative inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory passages accompanied by itching and profuse watery secretion, usually without temperature elevation, followed occasionally by bronchitis and asthma; the episode recurs annually at the same or nearly the same time of the year, in spring, summer, or late summer and autumn, caused by an allergic reaction to the pollen of trees, grasses, weeds, flowers, etc.
Synonym(s): allergic coryza

hay fever

n.
An allergic condition affecting the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes, most often characterized by nasal discharge, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes and usually caused by an abnormal sensitivity to airborne pollen. Also called pollinosis.

hay fever

Etymology: AS, heawan, to hew; L, febris, fever
Usage notes: (informal)
an acute, seasonal, allergic rhinitis stimulated by tree, grass, or weed pollen. Also called pollen coryza, pollinosis. See also allergic rhinitis, organic dust.

allergic rhinitis

An inflammatory response in the nasal passages to allergens, which is the most common form of atopic-allergic disease, affecting 5–20% of the general population. Allergic rhinitis is initiated by exposure of the nasal mucosa to airborne antigens, evoking IgE production; upon repeated re-exposure to the allergen (e.g., ragweed pollen), histamine, leukotrienes C4, D4, E4, B4, PGD2, kinins, kininogen and serotonin are released.

Allergic rhinitis is the most widely used of a plethora of terms referring to the effect of allergens on the upper respiratory tract, in particular the nasopharynx. It is often related to environmental antigens—most commonly pollen—thus being known as seasonal allergic rhinitis (colloquially known as hay fever), and less often to “constant” allergens, in which case it is designated perennial allergic rhinitis.

Clinical findings
Paroxysms of sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal and ocular pruritus, tearing, rhinorrhoea, anosmia, ageusia, postnasal drip (which may cause coughing), partial or total obstruction of airflow, throat clearing, and allergic periorbital hematomas (black eyes).
 
Diagnosis
Skin testing with appropriate inhalant allergens is of greater use than measuring serum IgE.
 
Management
Avoid allergens; antihistamines (especially H1-receptor antagonists); sympathomimetic amines; anticholinergics; corticosteroids; decongestants; cromolyn sodium; immunotherapy.

Pathogenesis
Unclear; possibly a hypersensitivity response to allergens in pollen, dander, mites, insects, mould spores, foods; most patients have circulating IgE antibodies that bind to high-affinity receptors on mast cells and basophils, and to low-affinity receptors on other cells, evoking release of inflammatory mediators.

hay fever

A popular term for a seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by pollen and characterized by itching and tearing of eyes, swelling of nasal mucosa, attacks of sneezing, often asthma. See Allergic rhinitis.

hay fe·ver

(hā fē'vĕr)
A form of atopy characterized by an acute irritative inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory passages accompanied by itching and profuse watery secretion, followed occasionally by bronchitis and asthma; the episode recurs annually at the same or nearly the same time of the year, in spring, summer, or late summer and autumn, caused by an allergic reaction to the pollen of trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers.

hay fever

A term remarkable for its imprecision, the condition being neither a fever nor caused by hay. See ALLERGIC RHINITIS.

hay fever

an allergic reaction to atmospheric dust and pollen. Hay fever causes watery eyes, sneezing, etc., due to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose.

Bostock,

John, English physician, 1773-1846.
Bostock catarrh - Synonym(s): allergic rhinitis; hay fever
Bostock disease

hay fever,

n pollen allergy that occurs seasonally that includes sneezing, congestion, and itching of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat due to release of histamines. Antihistamines help con-trol this condition. Also called
pollenosis or
seasonal allergic rhinitis.

hay fe·ver

(hā fē'vĕr)
A form of atopy characterized by an acute irritative inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes and upper respiratory passages accompanied by itching and profuse watery secretion, followed occasionally by bronchitis and asthma.

hay fever,

n an acute seasonal allergic rhinitis, stimulated by tree, grass, or weed pollens. Also called allergic rhinitis.

Patient discussion about hay fever

Q. I have chronic hayfever problems in the mornings for the first hour.Seems to be a correlation with dairy produ I also got asthma 8 years ago at age 69, after having 2 pet cats. It is controlled with 2 puffs of Symbicord daily, am & pm. Anyone managed a complete cure?

A. Hey lixuri,you mean to tell me after after 25yrs as a therapist,All my patients had to do is drink water all day.i love it,how long does it take to work,an what does the patient do in the mean time if they have a asthmatic attack(drink WAter while you cant breath?-PLEASE SEND ME AN AANSWER.---mrfoot56.

Q. Regarding Seasonal Nasal allergy. My father is suffering from seasonal nasal allergies. He took a 24-hour loratadine pill, 5 hours ago. His nose is still running just like it was. Can I take a benedryl, or is it dangerous to mix loratadine and benedryl? What else can I do to stop my nose?

A. except well known drug interactions- most Dr. check it out with a computer program they have. you need to ask a Dr. or a pharmacist about it. but i can tell you that if you wait 4 times the T1/2 - that is enough to consider the drug out of the system.

Q. is seasonal allergies are treatable?

A. here is the link to the Merck manual about that-
http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec16/ch185/ch185b.html

More discussions about hay fever
References in periodicals archive ?
Prof Emberlin said: "Anecdotal evidence suggests people who have hay fever triggered by tree pollen suffer more eye symptoms, such as itchy and runny eyes.
Professor Ken Jones, professor of immunology at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, said: "It doesn't kill but hay fever can be pretty distressing and miserable for five or six weeks when everyone else is thinking, phew, what a scorcher.
Drug-free, Hay-Band(R) does not cause side effects like drowsiness, often associated with hay fever medicines and is safe for patients taking prescription medications and children(4).
People experiencing hay fever symptoms are being urged to visit their community pharmacist after the research by The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain revealed that 73% of sufferers fail to seek medical advice before selecting a treatment.
Good modern treatment helps nearly everyone so much that life during the hay fever season becomes normal again.
The worst time of day for hay fever is three hours before sunset as this is when pollen released into the atmosphere in the morning returns to the ground and when many sufferers believe the worst of the day is over," said Dr Morris.
A spokesman said: "It seems that hay fever can be a real passion killer.
Research by Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital shows that homeopathy can help hay fever sufferers.
Symptoms include sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy, constantly watering eyes, and for half of hay fever sufferers, breathing problems.
Significantly more reports of depression, fearfulness, fatigue and hay fever emerged from the 72 students in the most-shy group than from the other participants.
Neeta advises: "Keep dogs and cats wellgroomed - trim fur and wash them regularly during hay fever season.