What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies, commonly referred to as hay fever, are the body’s reaction to airborne particles such as pollen or mold. This type of allergy kicks up at the times of year when certain trees, grasses, or weeds are in flower, or when mold releases its spores into the air. A combination of genetics and interaction with environmental allergens causes some people to develop seasonal allergies. People with hay fever seem to have a hyper-alert immune system that’s always on the lookout for substances foreign to the body. Pollen and mold aren’t actually harmful in any way, but when an allergic child or adult breathes in pollen or mold spores, his body perceives it as a dangerous invader and reacts by releasing histamine and other chemicals. Histamine inflames the nose and airways, and the other chemicals cause the well-known symptoms of hay fever: congestion, runny or itchy nose, scratchy throat, watery or itchy eyes, and itchiness in the ears.