The truth behind hay fever causes: hay fever myths debunked

hay fever causes

Hay fever is so common that we might think we know everything about it, but there are still plenty of myths around this allergic reaction. So we’ll answer some common questions about the condition – such as ‘is hay fever contagious?’ and ‘can hay fever cause nausea?’ – and debunk the myths about what causes hay fever.

Common myths about hay fever causes

Thinking hay is the cause of hay fever might seem logical, but hay is not one of the main hay fever triggers. Hay (cut dried grass) may well contain grass pollen grains, but it’s the pollens released by living grass, trees and weeds that cause hay fever.

It’s also common to think that colourful flowers cause hay fever, but these types of plants tend to have sticky, heavy pollen that’s carried by insects. The pollen that causes allergies is small and light and carried in the air.

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Is hay fever contagious?

Though colds and hay fever share many similar symptoms, one of the differences is that hay fever isn’t contagious. It’s the body’s immune response to external allergens, rather than an infection that can be passed onto others (as a cold can be).

Is hay fever inherited?

While hay fever isn’t passed onto others in a contagious sense, it can be passed onto others through genes. Hay fever isn’t directly inherited, but if you have an allergic response to hay fever triggers, it can mean that your child is more prone to having the allergy too. Shared experience of environmental factors can also play a part.

Now we’ve dealt with what causes hay fever, it’s time to look at questions about symptoms.

Can hay fever cause a rash?

A skin rash can be one of the allergic reactions hay fever sufferers experience. However, these rashes usually clear up within a few days. Chronic skin rash reactions are more common with food allergies, rather than hay fever.

Can hay fever cause a rash as a one-off? It’s more likely that a one-off episode is down to a virus infection rather than hay fever. Repeated rashes are more likely triggered by an allergy (so you could check your washing powder or any products you’re using on your skin).

Can hay fever cause a cough?

A cough is one of the similar symptoms of both hay fever and a cold. When pollen irritates the lining of your nose, it triggers the nasal passages to produce watery mucus. This trickles down the back of your throat and you might cough to remove it.

However, if you’re wondering can hay fever cause a cough that’s the same as the chesty cough caused by a cold, the answer is no. Hay fever mucus is watery and clear, whereas mucus created because of an infection tends to be thick and yellow or green.

Can hay fever give you a sore throat?

The allergic reaction can include your throat. But can hay fever give you a sore throat like you get with a cold? Well, rather than being sore, it’s more likely to be itchy or tickly. This itchy sensation can be felt in the mouth, nose and ears, too.

Can hay fever cause nausea?

Hay fever doesn’t typically affect the body in a way that causes nausea. However, you might find that nausea is listed as one of the possible side effects of medication that’s used to treat hay fever symptoms. That could be a reason why you find your hay fever goes hand-in-hand with nausea.

Now you know more about hay fever causes and common symptoms, you can share your newfound knowledge with your loved ones, and debunk all those myths.

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