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Allergies Health Center

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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 things such as:

  • Grass pollen
  • Tree pollen
  • Ragweed and weed pollen

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

Recommended Related to Allergies

Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You catch a whiff of a co-worker's new fragrance, and within minutes, you have a whopper of a headache. You pop open that new bottle of dish-washing liquid, and by the time you've washed the pots and pans, your hands and arms are covered in hives. You walk into a friend's home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn't been baking...

Read the Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault article > >

Stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, 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. Consider replacing plants that you're allergic to and your lawn with a lower-pollen type of grass.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on November 12, 2012

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