Hay fever is the common name applied to allergic rhinitis that recurs each year at a specific season – usually spring or fall. It is characterized by rhinorrhea, sneezing, itching of the eyes, nose, ears, and palate, and edema of the nasal mucous membranes.
Non-seasonal allergies, such as feathers and animal danders, may produce year-round disease called perennial allergic rhinitis; vasomotor rhinitis is a term that designates perennial rhinitis without an identifiable allergic basis.
The abrupt onset of morning sneezing, usually in paroxysms of several sneezes in rapid succession, accompanied by rhinorrhea and itchiness of eyes, palate, and pharynx, is characteristic of Hay fever. Symptoms recur each year at approximately the same time. Dry, windy days, riding in an open car, and working in a garden are frequently reported to worsen the symptoms.
A hay fever sufferer notes that the morning and evening hours are the worst, with a relatively better period, during the mid day. Mucosal congestion and edema often lead to total blockage of the airway, necessitating mouth breathing. The conjunctivae are red and weepy, and the lids and peri-orbital tissues may be puffy.
Hay fever is not often accompanied by temperature elevations, and the name is, therefore, misleading. Fever should alter one to common complications like sinusitis, otitis or mastoiditis, cough, wheezing and dyspnea are frequent companions of hay fever.
Early in the course, the differentiation of hay fever from that caused by irritants or infections is difficult, but in retrospect the patient will usually remember similar but milder symptoms at the same time in previous years. The seasonal history is the most important of all clues to correct diagnosis.
Hay fever may be differentiated from other respiratory tract infections by the presence of pruritus of eyes, nose, and pharynx and by absence of fever, sore throat and malaise. The nasal mucous membranes appear swollen, pale and boggy in hay fever.
Now, we will see what Dr. J. T. Kent has said about Hay fever in his lectures on materia medica.
Dr. J.T. Kent writes……
……Hay fever is one of the most difficult conditions to fit a remedy to. It belongs to a low constitution that must be built up before the hay fever will cease. It is an expression of psora that comes once a year, and the psoric miasm must be changed, but not in one season, so do not be disappointed. In catantial states, hay fever often dates back to low fever improperly treated……….
……..Hay fever is often an easy thing to palliate with short acting remedies, they will cut short an attack in a few days. But the cure requires years. and the patient must be treated in the interim and according to his symptoms. When the hay fever symptoms are present he has no others; one group is manifested at one time, and another group at another time. But the patient is sick and all the symptoms must be gathered together and the case treated accordingly..
…..For hay fever we have especially to look up such remedies as have complaints worse in the fall of the year. There are other conditions that are just as much hay fever, for instance, “rose cold” that comes on in June. There are other conditions that come on in the spring, sometimes cured by Naja and Lachesis. So that we have to observe the time of the year, the time of the day, night or day aggravations, the wet and the dry remedies, the hot and the cold remedies. We have to study the remedy by circumstances ..
…….Symptoms of Hay fever, are the outcome of the psoric constitution, and this constitution must be treated by antipsorics. Sometimes the hay fever is so severe that it seems to be the only manifestation of psora in the patient, but if it is restrained or stopped up by bad treatment he is not well during the whole year. If let alone he has good health during the rest of the year. Many a time the hay fever goes through the whole winter and only by constitutional upbuilding can it be mitigated. But with constitutional treatment each yearly attack is lighter, and at the end of treatment he is able to live in his own climate unaffected. He must not go to the mountains to mitigate it. If to any place, he should go where the affection would be worse, so that all its manifestations would be apparent. The hay fever will only be cured if the patient is curable, but if not, if his constitution is so broken down that he is incurable, his hay fever will not be cured………….
……You may know that the true nature of hay fever is not generally understood. It is really only an explosion of chronic disease, that is, it is a manifestation of psora, and can be eradicated only by antipsoric treatment. Many a time have I seen hay fever wiped out in one season by a short acting remedy, only to return the next just the same, and perhaps another remedy will be required. As soon as the hay fever is stopped you must begin with constitutional treatment. There will be symptoms, if you know how to hunt for them, which differ altogether from the acute attack. When the hay fever is on, these do not appear. It is a difficult matter to find a constitutional remedy when the hay fever is at its height, for it resembles an acute disease; but it is a manifestation of psora, like any other manifestation of psora, as every time cough etc. The nose may manifest only a certain phase of chronic disease in one season that may, for instance, be suited to one remedy. In a psoric condition a short acting remedy is insufficient, it may help for one day only, and the deep acting remedy that includes the patient as well as the hay fever and all the other symptoms, will have to be administered. The best time to treat hay fever is after the acute attack subsides and until it begins again the next season. It will then occur in a greatly modified form, different from any, the patient has ever had, and calling for a different remedy. That will be the case if the constitutional remedy has been properly selected….
by Dr. Anil Singhal