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Hay Fever Advocacy Sheet

By EmpowHER

If you notice yourself getting the same cold-like symptoms at the same time each year,  it's likely you may be dealing with allergies, such as Hay Fever, rather than a virus.

Hay Fever or allergic rhinitis is something you may want to discuss with your doctor. Here are some suggested questions. You may come up with more based on this list:

  • What causes Hay Fever? Hay Fever usually is caused by allergens found outside such as pollen and mold.
  • How common is Hay Fever? One online resource cited about 1 in 10 people, or between 20 and 40 million people in the United States get Hay Fever or similar allergy-related symptoms.
  • Is it normal to suddenly start getting Hay Fever as an adult? Teenagers typically have the most allergies, but some adults develop allergies after a move of location.
  • How is Hay fever diagnosed? Typically a skin scratch test is done, or a blood test is run to gauge reactions to allergens and look for antibodies.
  • How is Hay Fever treated, and what are the side effects? Many doctors will prescribe medication (leukotriene blockers), or suggest over-the-counter drugs (antihistamines, decongestants, etc.) to help control reactions and symptoms.
  • What are some alternatives to prescription drugs? Homeopathic drugs are available, but should be discussed with your health care professional to ensure treatments don’t negatively impact other conditions or medications you are currently taking.
  • What can I do at home to help my resistance to Hay Fever? Many doctors suggest using a nasal rinse product to help alleviate allergic rhinitis symptoms.
  • How will Hay Fever treatment impact my symptoms and any other conditions?
  • Should I see a specialist (allergist)? A benefit to seeing an allergist is their qualification in the care and treatment of allergies. A person experiencing acute symptoms, or more allergies in addition to Hay Fever,  could benefit from seeing an allergist.
  • Can Hay Fever get worse?  Will it get better? There have been cases of Hay Fever progressing, including the onset of asthma or food allergies. Many people experience relief from symptoms with treatment and medications.

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Hay Fever

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