Seasonal allergies develop after exposure to airborne substances that only appear during certain times of the year. Seasonal allergies are relatively common. The reactions only occur during certain times of the year especially spring, summer or fall depending on what the individual is allergic to.
The symptoms involve mainly the membrane that lines the nose which causes allergic rhinitis or the membrane lining the eyelids and covering the white part of the eyes which results to allergic conjunctivitis.
What are the indications of seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies can cause itchiness of the nose, eyes, roof of the mouth and back of the throat. The itchiness can start in a gradual manner or abruptly. The nose starts to run with a clear, watery drainage and can end up stuffed. Among children, the stuffed nose can lead to an ear infection. In addition, the lining of the nose can end up swollen and bluish red.
The sinuses are also stuffed up which results to headaches and occasional sinus infections. Understandably, sneezing is also common.
The eyes might water, sometimes in a profuse manner as well as become itchy. The white part of the eyes turns red and the eyelids become reddened and swollen.
Other symptoms include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
Remember that the severity of the symptoms varies with the seasons. Many individuals who have allergic rhinitis also have asthma possibly triggered by the same allergy triggers that add up to allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays are highly effective and used first. Most of these sprays have a few side effects but can cause a sore nose and even nosebleeds.
- Antihistamine can be taken orally or used as a nasal spray. This medication is often utilized with a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine taken orally.
- Antihistamine-decongestant combinations are available over-the-counter as a single tablet. These are not suitable for those who have high blood pressure unless allowed by the doctor
- Decongestants are available over-the-counter as nasal sprays or drops. They should not be used for more than a few days at a time since prolonged use for a week or more can worsen or even lengthen nasal congestion.
Artificial tears can be used to reduce the irritation. Any substance that triggers an allergic reaction must be avoided. If the individual has contact lenses, it should not be used during episodes of conjunctivitis.
Eye drops that contain antihistamine and a vasoconstrictor are usually effective. These eye drops are available over-the-counter. Nevertheless, they might be less effective and can cause more side effects than the prescription eye drops.
The eye drops that contain cromolyn which is available by prescription only are used to prevent allergic conjunctivitis. These can be used if exposure to the allergen is expected.
When it comes to severe symptoms, eye drops that contain corticosteroids which are available by prescription can be used. During treatment, the eyes should be regularly checked for increasing pressure and infection.