Runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes and facial pressure – cold and flu season has passed, but their symptoms are rearing up once more through seasonal allergies.
What are seasonal allergies?
Also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies are your body’s response to allergens like pollen, mold spores, and animal dander. Your immune system is equipped to fight off bacteria and viruses, but it misreads seasonal substances and launches an attack against these harmless intruders.
How do they hurt?
For many, seasonal allergies create only a few weeks of discomfort once or twice a year before allergens and their symptoms dissipate. For others, however, hay fever creates or exacerbates more serious respiratory issues like asthma and sinusitis.
- Asthma: A lung disease, asthma is the narrowing or blocking of airways in response to allergens, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and other serious breathing difficulties.
- Sinusitis: Inflammation and infection from cavities behind the nose can create this pressurized, persistent condition. Allergens trigger a congestion that creates pain around the eyes, nose, and cheeks, and if left untreated, inflammation will persist.
What can I do to keep them under control?
If air filters, humidifiers, and air purifiers don’t eliminate or even ease your symptoms, medications both over the counter and prescription can help target the issue:
- Decongestants: reduce swelling and discomfort by thinning nasal secretions
- Nasal steroids: anti-inflammatory sprays that can help decrease inflammation, swelling, and mucus production
- Antihistamines: eliminate watery eyes and itchy nose by countering the effect of histamines causing the symptoms
- Immunotherapy: alters the body’s immune response to allergens through allergy-relief shots for symptoms that aren’t responding to other medications
With help from Johns Hopkins Pharmacy, you can seize the season without falling prey to pesky symptoms. We’ll work with you and your doctor to find a treatment that helps keep your response to allergens under control. Set up an appointment today!