“Although most seasonal allergies do begin in childhood, you can develop seasonal allergies at any point in your lifetime, especially if you move from one location to another and are exposed to new allergens,” says Megan Albers, Physician Assistant with Washington Regional Shiloh Clinic. “That exposure to allergens such as dander, pollen, and mold, are what triggers that immune response to release certain chemicals, such as histamine, which causes those allergy symptoms.”

Common symptoms for allergies include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, and postnasal drip. As for people with asthma, coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath are also associated with seasonal allergies. Albers states, “Some effective ways to relieve your allergy symptoms can be by taking antihistamines or using nasal steroid sprays. You should not take allergy medication only when you start feeling bad because it’s going to be much more difficult to treat your symptoms.”

An ideal time frame of allergy suffers to start taking preventative action would be about two weeks ahead of the beginning of allergy season. “You should definitely see your health care provider for your allergy symptoms, if you develop significant hives on your body, difficulty breathing, or of course, any swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, throat or tongue. Also, if you develop fever, chills, or body aches, those are going to be more likely symptoms of an infection rather than allergies.”

If you’re interested in seeing a provider about your seasonal allergies, you can call Washington Regional Shiloh Clinic at (479) 419-9902 or schedule an appointment online.