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Think You’re Allergic to Pollen?

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 the pollen made by:

  • Grass
  • Trees
  • Ragweed and weeds

Could you have seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever? The signs include:

Recommended Related to Allergies

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,...

Read the Regional Allergies article > >

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, ears, nose, mouth, or throat
  • Cough

With seasonal allergies, your symptoms flare up at certain times of the year when the pollen counts are high. If you’re uncomfortable all year long, you probably have indoor allergies to things such as pet dander and dust mites.

Seeing a Doctor

First, try to keep your symptoms in check with over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants. But if your symptoms make you miserable, it's time to see a doctor who specializes in allergies, called an allergist.

Your allergist can find out what kind of pollen you're allergic to and make a treatment plan. It might include medication or allergy shots.

Knowing what triggers your allergies can also help. If it's pollen, stay inside when the pollen count is high.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA on February 27, 2015

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