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July 23, 1887

HAY FEVER.The First Prize Essay of the United States Hay Fever Association for 1887.

JAMA. 1887;IX(4):103-107. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400030007002

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The limitation placed upon the length of this essay is my apology for the incomplete manner in which the subject is treated. Believing that those for whom this is written will be principally interested in the cause and treatment of the disease, I have devoted most of the paper to the consideration of these topics.

Pathology.—Hay fever is a functional nervous disease. No organic change has ever been found in the nervous system to which the peculiar suffering in this malady could be attributed. The symptoms are manifestations of exaggerated functional activity.

There are three factors which satisfactorily account for all the phenomena presented by a paroxysm of hay fever: First, highly susceptible nerve centres; secondly, over-sensitive nerve ends; and thirdly, the presence of one of a large number of exciting causes. The conclusion that this is a functional nervous disease is a logical one, based on anatomical, physiological, pathological,

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