Each spring, summer, and fall, trees, weeds, and grasses release tiny pollen grains into the air. Some of the pollen ends up in your nose and throat. This can trigger a type of allergy called hay fever.
Symptoms can include:
- Sneezing, often with a runny or clogged nose
- Coughing and postnasal drip
- Itching eyes, nose and throat
- Red and watery eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
Your health care provider may diagnose hay fever based on a physical exam and your symptoms. Sometimes skin or blood tests are used. Taking medicines and using nasal sprays can relieve symptoms. You can also rinse out your nose, but be sure to use distilled or sterilized water with saline. Allergy shots can help make you less sensitive to pollen and provide long-term relief.
Diagnosis and Tests
- Allergy Blood Test (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Allergy Skin Test (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Allergy Tests: When You Need Them and When You Don't (ABIM Foundation)
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Controlling Hay Fever Symptoms with Accurate Pollen Counts (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in Spanish
- Pollen (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
Treatments and Therapies
- 6 Things To Know About Complementary Health Approaches for Seasonal Allergy Relief (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Hay Fever Medications (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe? (Food and Drug Administration)
- Saline Sinus Rinse Recipe (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in Spanish
- Colds, Allergies and Sinusitis - How to Tell the Difference (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) - PDF Also in Spanish
Statistics and Research
- FastStats: Allergies and Hay Fever (National Center for Health Statistics)
- Prevalence of Allergies the Same, Regardless of Where You Live (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
- Seasonal Allergies at a Glance: What the Science Says (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Association between Serum Biotin Levels and Cedar Pollinosis in Japanese Schoolchildren.
- Article: Short term physician visits and medication prescriptions for allergic disease associated...
- Article: Rationale and Design of a Panel Study Investigating Six Health Effects...
- Hay Fever -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
- Find an Allergist/Immunologist (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Also in Spanish
The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.