The Basics of Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

Whenever you see someone sneezing or having a reaction when exposed to pollen, dust, or animal dander, they’re probably experiencing “allergic rhinitis.” This is a kind of allergic reaction characterized by allergic inflammation of the nasal passages. It is commonly referred to as “hay fever.”

hay fever

Various types of trees, grasses, and weeds can cause hay fever as their pollen is carried by the wind. The amount of pollen in the air can provoke varying hay fever symptoms. Hot, dry, windy days tend to trigger hay fever more frequently as the pollens are blown through the air.


  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose, mouth, throat, or skin
  • Watery eyes

Continued exposure to allergens can cause further symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Diminished sense of smell and clogged ears
  • Irritability and fatigue
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

If you experience these symptoms, try and identify the source of your reactions. If you’re like most people you can simply minimize your exposure to outdoor elements on hot, dry, windy days to lessen your hay fever. Should you experience continued symptoms that adversely affect your quality of life or extend for more than just a few months of the year, consult a physician about allergy immunotherapy.