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Seasonal Allergies in Adults

Seasonal allergies are a group of conditions that can cause sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, and itchy eyes. Seasonal allergies are sometimes called “hay fever.”

Symptoms occur only at certain times of the year. Most seasonal allergies are caused by:

  • Pollens from trees, grasses, or weeds
  • Mold spores, which grow when the weather is humid, wet, or damp

Normally, people breathe in these substances without a problem. When a person has a seasonal allergy, his or her immune system acts as if the substance is harmful to the body. This causes symptoms.

Many people first get seasonal allergies when they are children or young adults. Seasonal allergies are lifelong, but symptoms can get better or worse over time. Seasonal allergies sometimes run in families.

Some people have symptoms like those of seasonal allergies, but their symptoms last all year. Year-round symptoms are usually caused by:

  • Insects, such as dust mites and cockroaches
  • Animals, such as cats and dogs
  • Mold spores

Symptoms of seasonal allergies can include:

  • 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

Prevention and treatment

You can also help prevent symptoms by avoiding the things you are allergic to. For example, people who are allergic to pollen can:

  • Stay inside and avoid outdoor activities on very windy or sunny days when pollen counts are at their highest
  • Keep car and house windows closed, and use air conditioning instead
  • Take a shower before bed to rinse pollen off their hair and skin
  • Wear a dust mask if they need to be outside

There is a vast array of treatments available, and many of them are available without a prescription. Generally speaking, starting treatment before exposure to the allergen is more effective than starting when symptoms are already present.

The use of a saline solution to irrigate the nasal passages may help improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Another option is allergy desensitization. This involves the administration of small amounts of allergy-triggering substances to build tolerance, reducing the intensity of symptoms upon re-exposure.

Speak to our pharmacist to see which product is best for you.