Seasonal allergies occur at the same time of the year every year,
if you continue to live in the same part of the country. Hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis) is the most
common seasonal allergy.
What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies?
Symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
Runny, stuffy, or itchy
Temporary loss of smell.
Dark circles under the eyes ("allergic
Drainage from the nose down the back of the throat
Sore throat or
How can you help prevent seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, are often caused by exposure to pollen. You can reduce your exposure to pollen by:
Keeping your house and car windows closed.
Limiting the time you spend outside when pollen counts are high (during midday and afternoon).
Wearing a pollen mask or dust mask if you need to mow the lawn.
Limiting your mowing tasks if you can.
Rinsing your eyes with cool water or saline eyedrops to remove clinging pollen after you come indoors.
Taking a shower and changing your clothes after you work or play outside.
How can you treat seasonal allergies?
The following home
treatment measures may help relieve your symptoms:
Clean the inside of
your nose with
salt water to clear a stuffy nose.
For itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; or a runny, itchy nose, try an
antihistamine, such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton. Don't give antihistamines to your
child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
To relieve a stuffy nose, use a nasal or oral decongestant (such as Afrin or Sudafed PE) or a steroid nasal spray (such as Nasacort). A steroid nasal spray can also help with red, itchy, watery eyes.
Decongestants may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems.
If your symptoms still bother you, ask your doctor if immunotherapy might help you. For this treatment, you get allergy shots or use pills that have a small amount of certain allergens in them. Your body "gets used to" the allergen, so you react less to it over time. This kind of treatment may help prevent or reduce some allergy symptoms.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.