What is hayfever?

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a common allergy which affects people during spring and summer - haying season - when there are large amounts of pollen in the air. People with hay fever can get a runny nose and eye symptoms as well, and the reaction can extent from very mild to one which restricts the person from leaving the house in extreme cases. Symptoms are usually worst between June and August.

In the UK, 15 - 20 % of the population of the UK may have hay fever, and the main pollens playing a role are pollens from grass. In other countries, pollens from other plants might play a role, for example, birch tree pollen can cause hay fever symptoms in Scandinavia, cedar tree pollen can cause symptoms in Japan, and ragweed pollen can cause hay fever symptoms in the USA. Symptoms usually appear in adolescence and can disappear around the age of 30 or 40.

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