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Answering the Top 5 Questions About Seasonal Allergies

allergy season
May 10, 2023

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, then you understand how frustrating and even debilitating they can be. For those who have just recently started to experience nasal congestion, a cough, and other symptoms, allergies may be the culprit. To help you understand and work to manage your allergies, we’ve answered the top 5 questions about seasonal allergies:

When do seasonal allergies start?

The typical allergy season begins when plants begin to bloom and the weather starts getting warmer. While it varies depending on which region or state you reside in, this could begin as early as mid-February. Pollen counts climb rapidly after rainfall, and tree pollen is usually the first trigger of seasonal allergies, followed by grass pollen, then ragweed in summer and early fall.

How long do seasonal allergies last?

woman sneezing outside

Seasonal allergies affect people differently, but pollen counts can be elevated from mid-February to mid-September even into October depending on where you live and what types of pollen you are sensitive to.

Can seasonal allergies cause a sore throat?

Yes! A sore throat can be an allergy symptom. The body responds to allergies by producing mucus that would normally protect your airway, however, too much mucus results in postnasal drip, which simply means excessive draining, causing throat irritation and discomfort. If you’re unsure if you’re experiencing allergies or a virus from your sore throat, consider your other symptoms. If you’re experiencing itchy, watery eyes, runny nose or congestion, a slight cough, and sneezing, it’s most likely allergy-related. If you’re having muscle aches, a fever, or a worsening cough, you might have a cold or other infection.

Can seasonal allergies cause itchy skin?

woman scratching arm outside

Yes, it’s true! Traditional allergy symptoms don’t always include itchy skin, but many people can still experience sensitive skin, eczema, and rashes that can be linked to allergen triggers. If you are suffering from red, itchy skin due to allergies, here are a few ideas that might provide some relief:

  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air
  • Apply a gentle, thin moisturizer to keep the skin from being too dry
  • Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone or menthol cream
  • Treat a particularly itchy area with a cold compress

How do I get rid of seasonal allergies?

While nothing can take away your seasonal allergies completely, there are several ways to get relief from your symptoms. Firstly, monitor pollen levels and reduce your exposure to allergen triggers as much as possible. That could mean closing your doors and windows and staying in the air conditioning when the pollen count is high. Also, remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to clear away any pollen from your skin and hair. If you know you’ll be outside a lot on a day with a forecasted high pollen count, start taking any allergy medications before the symptoms actually begin. Some nonprescription medication options include oral antihistamines and decongestants, as well as nasal sprays. Finally, rinsing your sinuses with a saline solution is effective for congestion relief. Be sure to always use sterilized water! For those who have severe symptoms or the treatments given aren’t effective, talk with your medical provider about an allergy shot.

At our neighborhood pharmacy, we can help you find a solution to your seasonal allergies and answer your questions. Our knowledgeable pharmacists can help you with a variety of concerns and recommend the best quality products, vitamins, and supplements. Reach out to us anytime!