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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:

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Wondering if your nagging cold is actually an allergy? Or what about your new skin cream that made your hands break out? Distinguishing an allergy from a non-allergic condition is not always a clear-cut task. But knowing the difference can sometimes help you solve what's ailing you, which in turn could mean faster relief. Mary Fields knows just how difficult pinpointing an allergy can be. The 64-year-old Bronx resident tells WebMD she was convinced her frequent hives were caused by something in...

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  • 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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