- hay fever
a type of allergic rhinitis affecting the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract, affecting susceptible persons usually during the summer, caused by pollen of ragweed and certain other plants.[1820-30]
* * *Seasonal sneezing, nasal congestion, and tearing and itching of the eyes caused by allergy to the pollen of certain plants.These plants are chiefly those pollinated by the wind (e.g., ragweed in North America, timothy grass in Britain). Antihistamines and corticosteroids may provide temporary relief, but the most effective long-range treatment is desensitization. Unless properly treated, about one-third of patients with hay fever develop asthma.
* * *also called allergic rhinitisseasonally recurrent bouts of sneezing, nasal congestion, and tearing and itching of the eyes caused by allergy (immune system disorder) to the pollen of certain plants, chiefly those depending upon the wind for cross-fertilization, such as ragweed in North America and timothy grass (timothy) in Great Britain. In allergic persons contact with pollen releases histamine from the tissues, which irritates the small blood vessels and mucus-secreting glands; symptoms may be aggravated by emotional factors. antihistamine drugs and inhaled corticosteroids provide symptomatic relief. The most effective long-term treatment is immunotherapy, desensitization by injections of an extract of the causative pollen administered once or twice a week for one or more years. Hay fever, like other allergic diseases, shows a familial tendency and may be associated with other allergic disorders, such as dermatitis or asthma.
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