What causes hay fever?

This is an allergic disease of the upper respiratory tract caused due to exposure to certain substances called allergens. Allergens are of various types and include dust, smoke, pollen from a number of plants (grasses, members of Asteraceae), animal hair, fungal spores, house dust, wool, feathers, fabrics etc. It should be noted however that these do not cause allergic reactions in all people. Only certain people are sensitive to any one or all of the above mentioned allergens. Many a time sensisivity is due to hereditary factors also.

There are two steps in the treatment – to treat the symptoms of the disease and secondly to identify the source of allergy and to keep away from it. Symptoms of allergy can be treated by prescribing antihista­mines.