People who suffer from allergic disorders will be familiar with hay fever. Hay fever is an allergic condition that causes an exaggerated response of the immune system to pollen grains and many other substances. Hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and it can be of two types: seasonal and perennial. Seasonal hay fever occurs only during certain times of a year when pollen is known to be in the air, and perennial hay fever occurs all around the year. Hay fever occurs because your immune system reacts to pollen or other allergens that are usually harmless. This causes your body to overreact and flood your bloodstream with chemicals such as leukotrienes and histamines. These cause your nasal passages to become inflamed, sneezing, sinuses get inflamed and blocked, and eyelids are also affected. A continuous cough, while not a common symptom of hay fever, also presents itself in many people and can be very irritating. There are a variety of reasons why some people having hay fever suffer from a cough and some don’t. Here we discuss the symptoms of a hay fever cough and how you can get alleviate the symptoms.
What is Hay Fever?
An allergic condition, hay fever is also known as allergic rhinitis and it is a condition characterized by an aggravated immune response to pollen and allergens. There are two types of hay fever – seasonal and perennial. Hay fever is caused when your immune system tends to think of harmless pollen and other allergens as dangerous and invading your body. Therefore, the system overreacts and floods your bloodstream with chemicals (known as histamines) that cause the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses to inflame. Other symptoms associated with hay fever include: sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, dark circles and a cough. While a cough is not a common symptom of hay fever, it nevertheless, causes a lot of irritation.
Some triggers for seasonal hay fever may include:
- Grass pollen.
- Tree pollen.
- Ragweed pollen.
- Spores from molds and fungi.
Some triggers for perennial hay fever include:
- Pet Dander.
- Dust Mites.
- Fungi and mold spores that grow indoor.
What is a Hay Fever Cough?
A persistent cough is one of the most annoying symptoms of hay fever. A hay fever cough is usually dry and is caused by the pollen irritating the air passages or the back of the throat. This irritation triggers a natural reaction of the body to cough in order to clear the irritant. A postnasal drip can also cause a hay fever cough. A postnasal drip happens when due to irritation caused by pollen, excessive fluid gets produced by the inflamed membranes. This fluid builds up and starts dripping down the throat, thus causing irritation and giving rise to a dry cough as well.
It is not easy to determine if hay fever is causing your cough or if you are having a persistent cough that needs to be checked out by the doctor. If you know that you are suffering from other hay fever symptoms, then the chances are that you are suffering from a hay fever cough. A hay fever cough generally tends to be dry and tickly, but it is also possible in some cases that it is a mucous cough. A mucous cough is caused as a result of the mucus building up at the back of the throat, while a dry cough is caused by irritation of the throat due to pollen or other allergens.
How is a Hay Fever Cough Diagnosed?
A hay fever cough is diagnosed based on the type of mucus your body is producing. When there is an infection in the body, the mucus starts to thicken from the presence of the bacteria or virus. The exact type of mucus being produced by your body helps doctors diagnose whether it is a hay fever cough or an infection. If you have thin mucus that is difficult to cough up, then allergies are usually the cause.
How to Treat a Hay Fever Cough?
A hay fever cough is known to be uncomfortable and irritating, but it is not contagious. A persistent hay fever cough causes your throat to feel itchy and scratchy. Here are some ways in which you can deal with a hay fever cough and feel relief.
Home Remedies for Hay Fever Cough
There are many home remedies that you may try to get relief from your persistent hay fever cough. These include:
Drinking Lot of Water: Being hydrated by drinking plenty of water will help prevent your throat from feeling irritated and dry. Water will also help in flushing out any pollen that might have become stuck in your throat and palette and help with your hay fever cough.
Avoid Being In Irritating Environments: Avoid being in a smoky and dry atmosphere and also avoid stepping outdoors (if possible) during times when the pollen count is high. This will prevent triggering of hay fever cough.
Sip on Warm Drinks: Having a warm drink of lemon and honey will reduce the irritation at the back of your throat and provide temporary relief from a hay fever cough. Lemon will also act as a disinfectant and prevent any infection from developing.
Steam Inhalation Helps Hay Fever Cough: You can also try to inhale steam either from a steamer or a hot shower. The warmth will help in opening up the nasal passages and the moist steam helps to prevent the passages from drying out again and hence prevent hay fever cough.
Saline Nose Sprays: Saline nose sprays are also known to be helpful in allergies, especially if you have an extra formation of mucus. Saline nose sprays help in reducing the intensity of your hay fever cough and are available at all drugstores.
Herbal Remedies To Get Rid Of Hay Fever Cough
Apart from home remedies, there are several herbal remedies also that can be taken to treat hay fever cough. Some examples include:
Pollinosan Hay Fever Tablets: These combine several herbs that are designed to reduce the inflammation of the mucous membranes in hay fever. Unlike most allergy medications, Pollinosan does not make you feel drowsy and helps in getting rid of hay fever cough.
The Bronchosan Pine Cough Syrup is also known to provide relief from hay fever cough. The syrup contains extracts of spruce that helps ease a dry or a tickly hay fever cough.
The Bronchoforce Chesty Cough Remedy can be used to get help if you have a mucus cough.
Conventional Medications to Treat Hay Fever Cough
Over-The-Counter Anti-Histamines: A hay fever cough generally occurs from a reaction to some allergen. Due to this doctors generally, prescribe anti-histamines to lower the body’s reaction to pollen or any allergen. This helps ease your cough as well. Over-the-counter anti-histamines usually contain ingredients, such as chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine. Though the drawback to using such medication is that over a period of time your body develops immunity to them and they become ineffective. These should, therefore, only be used for a short period of time.
Cough Syrups to Relieve Hay Fever Cough: There are also many types of cough syrups and medications available, many of which act as suppressants. Others work as an expectorant and help in releasing the fluid from your lungs. Your doctor will be the correct person to advise a cough remedy depending on your symptoms.
Decongestants to Get Rid of Hay Fever Cough: Medications can help in drying up postnasal drip from hay fever cough are also known to help. Known as decongestants, some of them are also available over-the-counter and you will not need a doctor’s prescription to buy them. Some of the common decongestants contain the ingredients pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.
A hay fever cough usually is caused by postnasal drip. It is possible to treat this type of a cough with medications or herbal and home remedies. Staying indoors during days when the pollen counts are high is advisable and avoiding the allergens that affect you is another recommendation, but many times people are not aware of what allergen is causing them to have an allergic reaction. If home remedies or herbal remedies do not help in relieving hay fever cough, then it is recommended that you consult your doctor for other treatment options.
- How Effective & Safe is Allegra as an Antihistamine for Hay Fever, Hives Allergies?
- What is Hay Fever, Know its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, Pathophysiology, Risk Factors