MayoClinic.com: Seasons Affect Hay Fever Sufferers Differently

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Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a common cold, which is caused by a virus, hay fever is an allergic response to indoor or outdoor airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Some individuals have hay fever year-round. Others have episodes of hay fever at certain times of the year, usually in the spring, summer or fall.

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure. But unlike a common cold, which is caused by a virus, hay fever is an allergic response to indoor or outdoor airborne allergens, such as pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Some individuals have hay fever year-round. Others have episodes of hay fever at certain times of the year, usually in the spring, summer or fall.

Hay fever, one of the most common allergic conditions, affects about one in five people.

There's no proven way to avoid it, but individuals can prevent hay fever symptoms by avoiding triggers that cause reactions. A new feature on MayoClinic.com tells users how to avoid specific triggers.

Pollen or molds
-- Close doors and windows during pollen season.
-- Don't hang laundry outside -- pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
-- Use air conditioning in your house and car.
-- Use an allergy-grade filter in the ventilation system.
-- Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

Dust mites
-- Use allergy-proof covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows.
-- Wash sheets and blankets in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C).
-- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity.

Cockroaches
-- Block cracks and crevices where roaches can enter.
-- Fix leaky faucets and pipes.
-- Wash dishes and empty garbage daily.

Pet dander
-- Remove pets from the house, if possible.
-- Bathe pets weekly. Using wipes designed to reduce dander also may help.
-- Keep your pet out of the bedroom.

For more information, visit MayoClinic.com.

About MayoClinic.com:
Launched in 1995 and visited more than 15 million times a month, this award-winning Web site offers health information, self-improvement and disease management tools to empower people to manage their health. Produced by a team of Web professionals and medical experts, MayoClinic.com gives users access to the experience and knowledge of the more than 3,300 physicians and scientists of Mayo Clinic. MayoClinic.com offers intuitive, easy-to-use tools such as "Symptom Checker" and "First-Aid Guide" for fast answers about health conditions ranging from common to complex; as well as an A-Z library of more than 850 diseases and conditions, in-depth sections on 24 common diseases and conditions, 16 healthy living areas including food and nutrition, recipes, fitness and weight control, videos, animations and features such as "Ask a Specialist" and several blogs. Users can sign up for a free weekly e-newsletter called "Housecall" which provides the latest health information from Mayo Clinic. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to http://www.mayoclinic.org/news. MayoClinic.com (http://www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.

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Ginger Plumbo
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