Hay Fever & Eye Allergy
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever):
The word rhinitis means “inflammation of the nose.” The nose produces a fluid called mucus. This fluid is normally thin and clear. It helps to keep dust, debris, and allergens out of the lungs. Mucus traps particles like dust and pollen, as well as bacteria and viruses.
Mucus usually drains down the back of your throat. You’re not aware of this most of the time because it is a small amount and is thin. When the nose becomes irritated, it may produce more mucus, which becomes thick and pale yellow. The mucus may begin to flow from the front of the nose as well as the back. Substances in the mucus may irritate the back of the throat and cause coughing. Postnasal drip occurs when more mucus drains down the back of the throat.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is sometimes called “hay fever.” It is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. This type of rhinitis occurs mainly in the spring and fall when pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is in the air.
Perennial allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens that are present all year long. The primary causes of this type of rhinitis are allergies to dust mites, mold, animal dander, and cockroach debris.
Allergic Conjunctivitis (Eye Allergy):
Eye allergies, also called allergic conjunctivitis, are quite common. They occur when the eyes react to something that irritates them (called an allergen). As a result, the eyelids and conjunctiva become red, swollen, and itchy. The eyes can have significant tearing, burning, and be sensitive to light. Unlike other kinds of conjunctivitis, eye allergies do not spread from person to person.
People who have eye allergies commonly have nasal allergies as well, with an itchy, stuffy nose and sneezing. It is usually a temporary condition associated with seasonal allergies.
You can get eye allergies from pet dander, dust, pollen, smoke, perfumes, or even foods. If you cannot avoid the cause, your allergies can be more severe.