Pollen Allergy

Also known as: hay fever, rhinitis, allergic rhinitis

What is hay fever / pollen allergy?

Hay fever is the common name for allergic rhinitis which most often affects the nose, but can also affect the eyes, throat, sinuses and ears. It may occur seasonally or all year round in about 15% of children.

What causes hay fever/pollen allergy? 

Allergy to a variety of particles trapped in the nose like pollen from grasses, flowers, trees, dust mites, animal fur/hair/skin, mold or cigarette smoke are all common triggers.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis usually begins around 2-5 years of age and most often occurs for 4-8 weeks in the spring through the pollen season.

What are the symptoms of hay fever/pollen allergy? 

Hay fever symptoms include sneezing, sniffing, itchy and  runny nose, ear or sinus congestion, red puffy watery eyes, itchy throat, and fatigue occurring either at the same time each year during pollen season or all year round.

What are pollen allergy care options? 

Avoiding offending triggers, over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, prescription oral or inhaled nasal steroids, cromolyn products, allergy modifiers (leukotriene -Montelukast) or allergy shots (immunotherapy) may all be of value in managing the symptoms of hay fever.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 05:05 PM

What are environmental allergies?

Dr. Amy Feldman, pediatric allergist and immunologist, explains the triggers and symptoms of environmental allergies in children.

Learn more about