Seasonal rhinitis, also called hay fever, is an allergic reaction caused by exposure to pollens. In Quebec, 1 in 8 people suffers from seasonal rhinitis, which is mainly caused by ragweed pollen.
Seasonal rhinitis usually begins in the spring, when some trees that may cause allergies release their pollen in the air. Thereafter, other allergenic plants release their pollen throughout the summer and until mid-October.
Allergic reactions caused by the various pollens occur at roughly the same periods each year. These periods are as follows:
Climate changes extend the period during which plants and trees produce pollen. As a result, allergy periods may also be longer in the coming years.
Seasonal rhinitis causes different symptoms that are mainly brought on through the inhalation of pollen. Symptoms may appear in the following ways:
The side effects of seasonal rhinitis also impact the quality of life of the person allergic and their family. From spring to autumn, daily activities or sports, recreation and performance at work or school can be affected by:
Should you have questions regarding symptoms of seasonal rhinitis, contact Info-Santé 811.
See a doctor if the following applies:
Certain over-the-counter medicines are available to relieve symptoms of allergic reactions to seasonal rhinitis. Before using them, consult a health professional, such as a pharmacist for instance.
Besides those available over-the-counter, a doctor can prescribe other treatments and medications to people who suffer severe allergies to pollen. These treatments vary from one person to another. The doctor proposes them and adjusts them according to the severity of the symptoms and the allergic person’s reaction to the different medicines.
When a person suffers from severe respiratory allergies that are not relieved through medication, a doctor may suggest desensitization, sometimes called immunotherapy. This treatment aims to reduce the human body’s sensitivity to the substance responsible for the allergy and to significantly reduce allergic reactions. Treatment consists of giving the person a small dose of the substance to which they are allergic. This dose in administered into the human body through injections, meaning a shot with a syringe. The person receives several injections over many months or years. The dose administered is increased progressively over visits.
Complications of seasonal rhinitis may be manifested the following way:
In children, untreated seasonal rhinitis can cause the following:
Several simple and effective measures to avoid contact with pollen can help you reduce the symptoms of seasonal rhinitis:
The best way to prevent the adverse effects of seasonal rhinitis on health is by reducing the amount of pollen in the air through the elimination of ragweed on your land. See Identifying and Limiting the Presence of Ragweed to learn how to recognize and get rid of it. .
Last update: September 9, 2016 3:58 PM
The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 811 or see a health professional.