There are a number of hayfever influences you really should know about.
If you were not exposed to any pets in the first year of your life, there is a greater risk of you having allergic rhinitis1 (hayfever) and asthma. Interestingly too, having siblings decreases the risk of allergies in later life.
A report in New Scientist has questioned whether the tendency to plant male-only shrubs and trees in cities (to avoid mess from fruit and seedlings) has contributed to increases in hayfever, as only male plants produce pollen.
Mould spores in the home or workplace can be an ongoing irritant that makes seasonal hayfever more severe, or even worse it can make hayfever symptoms occur all year round. Most people have no idea that their compost heap, drainpipes or house foundation could be harmful to their health, and most people do not understand how to permanently remove mould, even when they do find it. Luckily we have a page on mould and yeast
Some experts have noted in recent years that air pollutants2 such as exhaust fumes prime the immune system to react to other irritants.
Non-hayfever medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory agents are considered in medicine to be part of the picture, as they can also be triggers of rhinitis3.
- Hesselmar B et al. Does early exposure to cat or dog protect against later allergy development? Clin Exp Allergy. 1999; 29 (5): 611-7
- Allergy Matters. Hayfever: the effect of pollution on hay fever. http://www.allergymatters.com/acatalog/HayFever_Air_Pollution.html, accessed July 2014.
- Mayo Clinic. Nonallergic rhinitis causes. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonallergic-rhinitis/basics/causes/con-20026910, accessed July 2014.