Swelling around the eyes coupled with clear fluids coming from the nose after a pollen inhalation could be an instance of hay fever symptoms. The body has a way of fighting foreign substances, one of which is allergen. To have a better understanding, what is hay fever? It is an allergic response to air-borne allergens which trigger the immune system to over react to the pollens. This oftentimes cause a nasal inflammation thus the name ‘allergic rhinitis’.
Such allergens could be pollen grains (with seasonal occurrence i.e. on a yearly basis). Other allergens are mold, pet hair, dust etc. All these may serve as risk factors for hay fever. Those who have been exposed to large amounts of allergens overtime do not show symptoms of hayfever- this is referred to as allergic immunotherapy. Other causes of hay fever are trees such as: pine, birch, alder, cedar, hazel, hornbeam, horse chestnut, willow, poplar, plane etc.
Hay fever symptoms are similar to other respiratory tract infection symptoms (such as common cold and asthma) in that their is physical manifestation of symptoms from the nose, (part of the upper respiratory tract) and other parts of the body.
Symptoms of hay fever
Hay fever do resolve within days on its own due to its allergic nature also, it often presents with no fever in most cases. These symptoms may make you uncomfortable. Below are hay fever symptoms:
1. Recurrent sneezing
This can be due to the irritation of the windpipe. The allergens may stimulate the tracheal tube such that you sneeze repeatedly to remove the stuck object in your windpipe. This is often an involuntary action set up by the body’s defense system.
2. Watery eyes
This is also characteristic of hay fever due to the irritation of common nerve which innervates the windpipe and the sensory cells in the eyes.
3. Swelling around the eyes
This may be due to histamines from mast cells produced in reaction to the allergens that entered into the blood stream.
4. Excessive nasal fluid secretion
This tends to increase as the irritation of the air passage progresses.
5. Body itching coupled with skin eruptions
Skin eruptions are very common with histamine release as well as itching.
6. Excessive eye itching
This is due to inhaled allergen. These may be accompanied by serious itching of the eyes.
7. Allergic conjunctivitis
Allergens may also irritate the eye lining which may provoke the eye-lids to swell up coupled with inflammation of the sclera.
Hay fever symptoms may be treated symptomatically after the exact pollen has been identified. Nasal corticosteroids and antihistamine (both oral and injectables) have been documented to be effective for treating hay fever symptoms. So also systemic steroids has been documented to be effective at treating rhinitis. However, the symptoms may subside within few days without treatment.