JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN DURHAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Girl sitting in a field suffering from allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. It is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the nose which is triggered by airborne particles such as pollen and dust. Usual symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. The inhalation of such particles provokes an abnormal response of the immune system which forms antibodies against them. The antibodies stimulate cells called mast cells to release the chemical known as histamine. This causes the inflammation and fluid production in the lining of the nose. Decongestant and corticosteroid drugs are used to relieve the symptoms.
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