Seasonal allergies: nothing to sneeze at
Keywords: seasonal allergies, hayfever, allergic rhinitis
AbstractSeasonal allergic rhinitis or ‘hay fever’ is a common condition experienced by about 20% of the population. It is an inflammatory condition that occurs in response to inhaled airborne particles called allergens which are present during certain times of the year. Allergens such as pollen from trees, grasses and weeds as well as moulds trigger the release of chemicals (mainly histamine) in persons allergic to the allergens, resulting in inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose (rhinitis) and/or eyes (conjunctivitis). Warmer temperatures, as well as higher levels of carbon dioxide due to global warming result in plants growing more rapidly thus producing more pollen than normal.
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