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    Do seasonal allergies bring you down? Airborne pollens like tree pollen in spring, grass pollen in summer, and ragweed in the fall cause that discomfort, also known as hay fever. They can bring on symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.

    So, which meds might work best for you?

    First, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to make sure they're caused by allergies. Then talk over your treatment options.

    Be sure to read and follow labels carefully if you opt to take over-the-counter medications, and follow the directions on how to take it. Remember that you can also get most OTC medications as generic and store brands.

    Nasal Steroid Sprays

    Nasal steroid sprays are often the first medicine recommended for allergies. They're available over the counter and by prescription.

    Three sprays are available over the counter:

    They can relieve nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing.

    How they work: They lower inflammation.

    Prescription examples include:

    Possible side effects are nosebleeds and a sore nose.

    Antihistamines

    They're a common starting point for folks with seasonal allergies. They help relieve a runny or itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. It may be the only medicine you need.

    You can get many types, both over the counter and by prescription. They are sometimes combined with other medications like decongestants.

    Antihistamines come in many forms, such as:

    • Eye drops
    • Nose sprays
    • Liquids
    • Pills

    How they work: Antihistamines block the effects of histamine, a chemical the body releases during an allergic reaction. Histamine is one of the things that triggers allergy symptoms in the nose.

    Over-the-counter types you take by mouth include:

    Some antihistamines can make you drowsy. If you take them, avoid alcohol and be careful when driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you're not alert.

    Cetirizine, fexofenadine, and loratadine are the only non-drowsy over-the-counter antihistamines.

    Prescription antihistamines include:

    Olopatadine is an eyedrop option to relieve eye symptoms. You can also get azelastine in eyedrop form.

    WebMD Video Series

    Outdoor Exercise and Allergies

    Don't let seasonal allergies stop your exercise routine. Get tips for outdoor fitness all year long.

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