Why Allergies Are Called Hay Fever & Other Interesting Allergy Facts

03.02.2018

spring allergies

Have you ever wondered why allergies are commonly referred to as “hay fever,” when you don’t get a fever and there’s no hay around in the spring? Today, RediClinic explores some interesting facts about the diseases that are behind so many itchy eyes and runny noses.

  • “Hay fever” is a bad nickname. The term “hay fever” came about before the medical community understood the cause of allergic rhinitis, a reaction to the fine pollen released into the air by flowering trees and plants. Because symptoms would strike during the fall hay harvest, when these pollens would be in the air, the condition was called hay fever. While it’s possible to be allergic to hay, usually people with hay fever are allergic to the pollen of grasses, trees and weeds.
  • Allergies are widespread – and expensive. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergy symptoms each year, ranking allergies as the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. It’s estimated that Americans spend more than $18 billion annually on allergy-related treatments.
  • You can’t escape ragweed. Ragweed is the most common weed pollen allergy, affecting an estimated 10-20 percent of Americans, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Just one ragweed plant can produce one billion grains of pollen! Grains of ragweed pollen are so lightweight they can travel up to 400 miles on the wind.
  • Flowers aren’t to blame. Flower pollen is heavy and doesn’t become airborne like the pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. In addition, flowers don’t produce as much pollen because they rely on insects to transport it.
  • Your sinus troubles could stem from allergies. The risk for chronic sinus infections is higher if you have allergies. This is because the nasal inflammation caused by seasonal allergies can block sinus drainage, creating a place for bacteria to grow and cause infection.
  • There is no cure for allergies. Once you develop an allergy, treatment options include avoidance, limiting exposure to the allergen that triggers your symptoms, medication and the seasonal allergy shot (immunotherapy).

Get Allergy Relief at RediClinic

Managing uncomfortable symptoms can be as simple as visiting your nearest RediClinic, where a board-certified clinician will evaluate symptoms to determine if your issues are related to allergies or an infection. Our clinicians can recommend over-the-counter products, or prescribe allergy medications and/or steroid injections to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. Make an online appointment to be seen same-day or next-day!