What’s the definition of Hayfever?
In short, hayfever is the allergic form of a disease called rhinitis which affects roughly 500 million people worldwide. “Hayfever” is allergic rhinitis.
How common is hayfever
Although documented as far back as the 9th Century, allergic rhinitis has only been widely recognised mostly since industrialisation came about, during the 19th Century.
The disease continues to affect up to 30% of the population worldwide, and does appear to be on the rise throughout the world.
Are there different types of hayfever?
Generally speaking, a person either has Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis or Perennial (all year round) Allergic Rhinitis. “Hayfever” is actually the correct label for the allergic rhinitis caused by grass pollen only.
The correct term for the allergic reaction to plant or tree pollen is in fact “pollinosis”, however both conditions are labelled and known as “hayfever”.
Your hayfever diagnosis will depend on your symptoms’ frequency (how often) and severity (how bad), together with the doctor’s observations.
With regard to severity, your quality-of-life outcomes (including sleep disturbance, difficulty working/studying, emotional/social disturbance) will serve as key information for the doctor to hear and act on.
Can I diagnose my hayfever myself?
Relying on your own limited knowledge of any condition can lead to things like unnecessary medication, worsened suffering, medical complications, no improvement over time and so on.
Keep in mind:
- You might not even have hayfever at all
- You may have hayfever plus one or more other conditions
The only way to ensure proper diagnosis of hayfever is with a healthcare professional in charge of assessment.
If you are serious about getting on top of your hayfever:
- Read all the pages on this site
- Set an appointment with a doctor
- Do exactly as instructed by the doctor
- Report back to him/her again with your progress
It’s the second follow-up visit to the doctor or Specialist that could mean the difference between winning and losing the fight against hayfever.
Healthcare professionals often prove most valuable if you give them that second chance to assess/re-assess how things are going with you, your medication, your quality of life. It’s not just a sneeze, it’s a disease. It’s not “just hayfever”. Too many people try to ignore their hayfever, many consider it as something trivial that does not warrant much effort, and far too many sufferers try treat the disease on their own without help.
Beating hayfever is a team effort and it starts with you; get yourself across all the information on this site so you know the best habits to adopt and approaches to take, get yourself properly diagnosed by an expert, and then initiate further follow-up for reassessment with that expert to adjust/perfect your treatment.