If you have this condition, the arrival of spring usually brings sneezes, watery eyes, and a runny nose! Check out the new Familiprix guide for practical tips on beating hay fever and enjoy the warmer weather to the full!
Excerpt from the guide
What is an allergy?
In general terms, an allergy is an exaggerated reaction by the immune system to a foreign substance that is normally harmless. For example, such substances might be peanuts, hazelnuts, or seafood. These are called allergens.
What is the immune system?
The immune system’s job is to protect the human body against external attacks, from the tiniest insect sting to the most severe viral or bacterial infections.
In the case of seasonal allergies, the immune system’s cells mostly attack airborne pollen, which they consider a harmful substance. The system reacts as it if it had been attacked. The body triggers the production of antibodies against the pollen, as a defence mechanism.
Next time the body comes into contact with this same allergen, the antibodies will recognize it and activate the immune system’s cells. These cells will release numerous substances, including histamine. The effects on the body of histamine and these protective substances cause the unpleasant symptoms of allergies.
People with seasonal allergies may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Itchy, runny nose
- Red, irritated, puffy, and watery eyes
- Nasal congestion that often makes it difficult to sleep
- Itchy, irritated throat