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Spring and Summer Allergies

​​​​​The ​freshly mowed grass and hand-cut flowers often aren't only a sight to see, but an eye sore if you have summer allergies.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is caused by outdoor allergens. It is more prevalent in the spring, summer and fall months due to heavier pollen and mold counts.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Allergies

  • Itchy, red,​ watery eyes
  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Sore, itchy throat
  • Fatigue

Allergy vs. Cold: How Do You Know?

How can you tell if it is allergy symptoms vs. cold or flu? The symptoms associated with allergies and colds are often very similar. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, you may be experiencing symptoms of an allergy.

What Causes an Allergic Reaction?

When the body comes in contact with a bacteria or virus, the body reacts, trying to fight off the harmful intruder. When someone who is allergic to pollen or mold comes in contact with their allergen, the body tries to attack it by releasing histamine and other allergic mediators. This attack is called an allergic reaction.

How to Treat Outdoor Allergies

The best defense against allergies is to avoid the allergen. As it is not always possible to stay indoors, Boys Town Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommends:

  • Keeping windows shut as much as possible, especially on dry, windy days, or when the pollen count is high.
  • Driving with the windows closed and the air conditioning on.
  • Allergy-proofing your yard by eliminating offending plants and staying off freshly mowed lawns.
  • Keeping pets (they can track pollen inside) outside. If that is not possible, at least keep them out of your bedroom.
  • Changing your clothing after playing/working outside.
  • Showering or at least washing hands after being outside.
  • Drying clothing with a vented dryer, NOT on a clothesline outside.

Depending on the severity of your allerg​ies, over-the-counter medications may help provide some relief. If the symptoms become worse or bothersome, your primary physician or an allergy physician may recommend oral medications, nasal sprays, eye drops or allergy shots​. Always consult with your physician before you begin a medication. If you have questions or concerns about outdoor allergies, contact your primary physician.


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