Hay Fever - How It Begins
( Originally Published 1943 )
At this point it may prove interesting to obtain a typical picture of the manner in which hay fever has its beginnings in many cases.
Hay fever is a smooth worker. It stalks its human prey unsuspectingly. It acts very mildly and gentlemanly for the first season or two. Unlike a resort Romeo it proceeds cautiously in its first summer romance. In this manner it is usually successful in its early impersonation of the "summer cold." But when it returns year after year with only ever increasing annoyance to the host by causing tears, sniffles, and headaches, the villain is suspected for what it is—hay fever.
Don't be misled by this metaphor, the villain, hay fever, is of neuter gender for it attacks both male and female with about equal frequency.
When it attacks in earnest, hay fever manifests itself by an inflammation of the membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth, sinuses and intestines. In accentuated cases, sufferers experience pain and discomfort in many bodily organs.
Shortly we shall become morbid by reviewing, systematically the effects on the various organs that science tells us may be caused by hay fever. Before doing this let's ask ourselves why these and other gory details about hay fever may be of assistance to those afflicted with the disease.
VALUE OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HAY FEVER
Our facetiousness about morbidity notwithstanding, various explorations in which we shall indulge in this book are not based on satisfying any purely idle curiosity. We are told by the medical profession that in the case of hay fever as in other allergic diseases it is a distinct advantage for patients to understand their sickness completely.
This information will enable the sufferers to cooperate intelligently with the doctor in the alleviation of their condition. To this may be added the fact that a complete understanding of your hay fever or any other chronic ailment will protect you against falling for the lot bogus cures and remedies advertised for your ills.
In the section that follows you will find a description of the symptoms and effects that are known to be associated with the condition of hay fever. If you have hay fever, then you may derive whatever comfort you will from the descriptions which indicate that others suffer as badly as you, or worse than you. In addition it may enlighten you as to the origin of some aches, pains, and discomforts, that you had not thought to associate with your hay fever. However, if you do not have hay fever, do not use the description of the symptoms to diagnose yourself as a hay fever victim. If you have all the signs, you may interpret this as an indication to see your doctor and nothing more. Remember, self reference in matters of this kind is supposed to denote immaturity.