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Causes of Hayfever

First of all, it’s not hay. ‘Hayfever’ was named by a British doctor who noticed that his allergy symptoms worsened during the hay harvesting season.

It’s actually caused by normally harmless and naturally occurring substances that trigger allergic reactions in your body. These substances are called ‘allergens’ and different allergens affect different people.

Allergens outdoors

Outdoor allergens include mould, trees, grass and pollens, and the condition they cause is often referred to as ‘seasonal hayfever’. If you suffer in spring, you are probably allergic to tree pollens and if your symptoms are present in summer, grass and weed pollens are probably the culprits.

Allergens indoors

If your hayfever occurs all year round, it could be due to indoor allergens. These include dust mites, cockroach droppings and animal dander (flaky skin). If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from ‘perennial’ or ‘year round’ hayfever.

If the cause of the hayfever is unclear, it may be worth seeing your doctor or an allergy specialist (allergist) to carry out skin tests.

Knowing what’s causing the problem will help you avoid future hayfever episodes.

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  Plants that cause hayfever 

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