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Allergies Health Center

Think You’re Allergic to Pollen?

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Millions of people in the U.S. have seasonal allergies, which flare up when lots of pollen or mold spores are in the air. They're allergic to things such as:

  • Grass pollen
  • Tree pollen
  • Ragweed and weed pollen

Could you have hay fever or seasonal allergies? The signs include:

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Regional Allergies

Q: Atlanta is beautiful in the spring, but my allergies are so bad! Will moving to the desert make them go away? A: Ragweed and grass pollens are triggers that are difficult to avoid almost everywhere in the continental United States during the spring and summer. Although much of Arizona and New Mexico is arid, most people in the cities, suburbs, and small towns grow grass for lawns. Plus, the land has been disturbed by construction and landscaping, so weeds are widespread. Las Vegas, Tucson,...

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Stuffy or runny nose; sneezing; itchy eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or throat; and cough.

Symptoms only at certain times of the year. Your allergies tend to get worse in spring, summer, and fall, when pollen is in the air. If your symptoms last all year, you may have indoor allergies to things like pet dander and dust mites.

Seeing a Doctor

Many people can keep symptoms in check with over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants. If your symptoms are keeping you from enjoying your life, it's time to see an allergist.

The allergist can do tests to find out what kind of pollen you're allergic to and together you can decide on a treatment plan. It may include medication and or even allergy shots.

Knowing what triggers your allergies can also help you reduce symptoms. Pay attention to pollen counts and stay inside on high-pollen days. 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on December 02, 2014

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