Home > Hayfever Issues > How Alcohol Intensifies Hay Fever

How Alcohol Intensifies Hay Fever

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 17 Jul 2015 | comments*Discuss
Hay Fever Alcohol Symptoms Lifestyle

While most of us know that too much alcohol is generally not good for our health, it seems that alcohol has a negative effect in specific areas of health as well – hay fever. Researchers recently found that alcohol use is associated with hay fever.

Studying Hay Fever Sufferers

The study focused on Danish women and it found that the risk of hay fever increased three percent for each additional alcoholic beverage consumed each week. All of the women who were studied were aged twenty to twenty-nine. When the study initially began, none of them were actively suffering from hay fever. They were questioned about their lifestyle habits, which included how much alcohol they consumed.

The study followed the women's lifestyles for nearly nine years. It found that 831 women eventually developed seasonal hay fever while 523 of the young women experienced perennial hay fever. An important finding was that the greater the alcohol consumption of a woman, the more likely she was to develop perennial hay fever.

Analysing the Results of Alcohol Consumption

The study further found that the women who said they had more than fourteen alcoholic beverages each week were 78 percent more likely to end up with perennial hay fever when compared to the women who had less than one alcoholic beverage each week.

Perennial hay fever – known as perennial allergic rhinitis – has similar symptoms to seasonal hay fever but the symptoms occur throughout the year and are triggered by exposure to allergens often found indoors, such as dust and pet dander. The commonly shared symptoms of the two types of hay fever include a runny nose, irritated throat and itchy eyes. Many sufferers also report a general feeling of malaise.

Another finding from the study was that women who had at least one parent with asthma were more than twice as likely to develop perennial hay fever when compared to those with asthma-free parents. This finding indicates a possible genetic component of hay fever, which could then be triggered by lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption.

Enhancing Knowledge of Hay Fever and Lifestyle Habits

It is thought that this kind of study can increase our knowledge on how lifestyle habits such as alcohol consumption influence the development of hay fever. At an even deeper level, these findings can yield clues to how our immune systems work and how alcohol plays a role in the hypersensitivity to pollen or indoor allergens.

Future Research on Alcohol and Hay Fever

One aspect of this research that will hopefully prompt new studies is that it was only performed on young women. As mentioned, the women in the study were aged twenty to twenty-nine but there are millions of hay fever sufferers of virtually all ages. For some people, handling hay fever has been what seems like a lifelong struggle right through to their older years. Although there are many successful hay fever treatments, some adults have still struggled for decades to find the right one for their hay fever symptoms.

Newer research will ideally look at the link between hay fever and alcohol consumption in men as well as in older adults of both sexes. With alcohol consumption being a very 'normal' part of the lifestyles of many adults, this study will perhaps prompt more research into how hay fever works and how we can better prevent its occurrence and treat its symptoms.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
What sort of treatments have worked? And does heyfever ever go away?
Criz - 17-Jul-15 @ 9:45 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • John
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get itchy and swollen eyelids every time I open a window facing a 20ft Hawthorne hedge. Extremely bad between June and September. Trouble is that…
    3 August 2019
  • Freddie
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I’ve suffered from stuffy nose and dreadful aches during the summer months, for years. After walking, being in the countryside, even in late summer,…
    7 July 2019
  • Mr.Max
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I use natural nasal barriers and they have worked extremely well but I still feel I could do with another treatment. Is there anything you could recommend?
    10 June 2019
  • Cazhug
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I suffer from silent migraines and have only just made a possible connection to birch tree pollen. I’m worst from end Mar to end May with weekly…
    5 June 2019
  • sherryerhard
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I have had asthma my whole life but about 5 years ago my asthma got so bad and I was diagnosed with emphysema/COPD which was most…
    1 June 2019
  • Gayegaye
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I find the May makes me extremely Ill. Its flowers are so pungent they stink. It's a beautiful tree especially when it's in full blossom but there's no…
    23 May 2019
  • derek rooney
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I had COPD for 9 years. My first symptoms were dry cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. My first chest x-ray only showed…
    14 May 2019
  • Janet Linnekin
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I was introduced to RICH HERBS FOUNDATION (ww w. richherbsfoundation. c om) and their successful COPD Herbal Formula protocol 10 months…
    30 April 2019
  • rathers
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get extremely itchy eyes from mid January to April. No other symptoms . This has been going on for years and no one seems able to help
    14 February 2019
  • HayfeverExpert
    Re: Tree Pollen
    AngieB - Your Question:I’ve only just made the link between my symptoms and a possible pollen allergy. I’ve been having itchy skin since March with int
    3 July 2018