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Hay Fever (cont.)

Hay Fever Symptoms

The usual symptoms of hay fever include the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose (clear, thin discharge)
  • Congested ("stuffy") nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sensation of plugged ear(s)
  • Watery, bloodshot eyes
  • Itching of nose, soft palate, ear canal, eyes, and/or skin
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping

When to Seek Medical Care for Hay Fever

Call your health care provider if you experience any of the following:

  • Symptoms that do not improve with self-treatment
  • Fever that does not subside
  • Nasal secretions that are colored, thickened, or bloody
  • Sore throat that gets worse
  • Earache or ear discharge

Go to the hospital emergency department if you experience any of the following in conjunction with an allergic reaction:

  • Very high fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Discharge from the ear or severe earache

Hay Fever Diagnosis

Your health care provider will ask you questions about the following:

  • Medical history, including allergies, asthma, and eczema
  • Seasonal symptoms associated with specific geographic locations
  • Family history of hay fever, asthma, and other allergies

He or she may take a drop of your nasal discharge, looking at it under a microscope for many immune cells called eosinophils, which increase dramatically in number during an allergic reaction.

An allergy specialist (allergist) may be able to determine the exact allergen causing your hay fever. He or she uses a skin test in which dilute solutions of various allergens are introduced into your skin. A positive reaction is indicated by a typical wheal and flare reaction (raised red bump).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/10/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Allergic Rhinitis »

Rhinitis is defined as inflammation of the nasal membranes1 and is characterized by a symptom complex that consists of any combination of the following: sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal itching, and rhinorrhea.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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