MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hay fever. A woman with hay fever blows her nose. Behind her is a flowering shrub. Hay fever is an allergic reaction of the membrane lining the inside of the nose, causing inflamma- tion, nasal congestion and a runny nose. Like other allergies, it occurs when the body's immune system reacts to harmless substances as though they were disease-causing organisms. Hay fever is most often triggered by pollen from flowers. Treatment includes drugs to relieve the symptoms (anti-histamine, corticosteroids, decongestants) and avoiding the pollen that causes them.
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