Some people have allergy symptoms only during certain times of the year, when the thing that they are allergic to is around. These allergies might be called “seasonal allergies.” Some people also use the term “hay fever.” Seasonal allergy symptoms are caused by:
- Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds
- Mold spores, which are in the air when the weather is humid, or after rain
Many people first get environmental allergies when they are children or young adults. Environmental allergies are lifelong, but symptoms can get better or worse over time. Environmental allergies sometimes run in families.
What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies?
- Stuffy nose, runny nose, or sneezing a lot
- Itchy or red eyes
- Sore throat, or itching of the throat or ears
- Waking up at night or trouble sleeping, which can lead to feeling tired during the day
How are seasonal allergies treated? People with environmental allergies might use 1 or more of the following treatments to help reduce their symptoms:
- Nose rinses – Rinsing out the nose with salt water cleans the inside of the nose and gets rid of pollen in the nose. Different devices can be used to rinse the nose.
- Steroid nose sprays – Doctors often recommend these sprays first, because they are the best treatment for stuffy nose. Many of these sprays are available without a prescription. Steroid nose sprays work best if you use them every day, and it can take a few days for them to work fully.
- Antihistamines – These medicines help stop itching, sneezing, and runny nose symptoms. They don’t treat stuffy nose as well as steroid nose sprays. Some antihistamines can make people feel tired.
- Decongestants – These medicines can reduce stuffy nose symptoms. People with certain health problems, such as high blood pressure, should not take decongestants
- Allergy shots – Some people with environmental allergies choose to get allergy shots. Usually, allergy shots are given every week or month by an allergy doctor.
Can seasonal allergy symptoms be prevented? Yes. If you get symptoms at the same time every year, talk with your doctor or nurse. Some people can prevent symptoms by starting their medicine a week or 2 before that time of the year. You can also help prevent symptoms by avoiding the things that you are allergic to. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, you can:
- Stay inside during the times of the year when you have symptoms.
- Keep car and house windows closed, and use air conditioning instead.
- Take a shower before bed to rinse pollen off of your hair and skin.
- Wear a dust mask if you need to be outside.
- Clean air conditioner and furnace filters regularly.
- Vacuum every week using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (“HEPA”) filter.
When do I need to call the doctor? Call your doctor or nurse for advice if you:
- Have a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or chills
- Have green or yellow mucus
These symptoms could mean that you have an infection and not just allergies. If you need to be seen, please here make an appointment or call us on +1(833)2567311.