Understanding hay feverBack to main section
Hay fever symptoms
Mild vs severe symptoms
Hay fever varies from person to person. You might experience it very occasionally and very mildly – for example, cold symptoms when the pollen count is high. Other people can be laid-low for the duration of the pollen season, experiencing a wide variety of debilitating symptoms.
- A blocked or runny nose (rhinitis)
- Itchy eyes, nose and throat
Less common complaints:
- Face pain, sweats and headaches
- Sleeplessness and poor concentration
- Asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and breathlessness
The allergic march - Hay Fever symptoms in children
Children prone to allergy will often experience a sequence of symptoms known as the allergic march. These particular allergies occur at different stages of a child’s development and sometimes overlap. Generally eczema in babies is the first sign, followed by food allergies at 18 months, allergic rhinitis from the age of three and then asthma from age seven onwards.
Each allergy prone child experiences this progression differently and some even outgrow it by early adulthood. For others the development of allergic disease can be a life-long struggle.
Whilst many people manage symptoms with eye drops, tablets, an inhaler and nasal sprays, Specific Immunotherapy for some sufferers may be the only treatment with the capacity to stop the allergic march. Studies have shown that specific immunotherapy in children reduces symptoms and the risk of developing asthma.
Levels of treatment
Most sufferers can control their condition with antihistamine and steroid medication. But when it’s so severe that conventional hay fever treatments don’t work, sufferers are at risk of developing more serious health problems like asthma. For these people, specific immunotherapy may be the only solution.
Things you can do at home to reduce your symptoms: Hay fever Prevention
How severe is your hay fever?
Take this straightforward questionnaire designed to help you and your GP decide the best way to treat your allergies.