Total avoidance by staying indoors is not a realistic option, but this factsheet will guide you on how you can reduce contact with allergens in the garden.
Hay fever symptoms can range from mild to severe and may vary depending on the allergen and the individual’s sensitivity. Seasonal allergies, often triggered by pollen, can cause symptoms during specific times of the year. However, some individuals may experience year-round symptoms due to allergens to indoor allergens.
Recognising the symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis is crucial in managing its impact. Common signs and symptoms to look out for are:
- Persistent and frequent sneezing is a common symptom of hay fever. People affected by allergic rhinitis often experience bouts of sneezing, especially when exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander.
- Runny or stuffy nose (nasal congestion) can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose.
- Itchy, red, and watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis) are common symptoms in people living with hay fever. These symptoms can also cause discomfort and sensitivity to light.
- Itchy throat or ears are often accompanied by irritation or a scratchy feeling.
- Fatigue and irritability affecting overall energy levels and mood can often be experienced after prolonged exposure to allergens.
Allergic rhinitis is often categorised into two main categories: seasonal and perennial. Understanding the differences between these types can help identify triggers and manage symptoms effectively.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis
Seasonal allergic rhinitis typically occurs during specific times of the year and is often associated with seasonal allergens such as pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. Symptoms tend to manifest during seasons when these allergens are prevalent in the air. Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid, and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.
Common characteristics of seasonal allergic rhinitis:
- Symptoms are triggered by outdoor allergens.
- Symptoms occur during specific seasons.
- Allergens like tree pollen in the spring, grass pollen in the summer, or weed pollen in the autumn may cause symptoms.
- Symptoms often include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy/watery eyes, and itching in the throat or ears.
Perennial Allergic Rhinitis
Perennial allergic rhinitis, on the other hand, refers to year-round symptoms that occur regardless of the season. This type of allergic rhinitis is usually caused by indoor allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander and mould spores.
Common characteristics of perennial allergic rhinitis:
- Symptoms persist throughout the year.
- Indoor allergens, like dust mites, pet dander, mould, or cockroach droppings, are the primary triggers.
- Symptoms may include persistent sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy/watery eyes, and coughing.