Clear nasal discharge, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, and congestion that persist longer than a week may indicate a seasonal allergy. Allergies may also cause an asthma attack. Seasonal allergies are caused by your immune system’s over-reaction to pollen and/or mold spores, which floods your bloodstream with chemicals like histamine. If symptoms are mild, you may tolerate them or take a nonprescription antihistamine, such as Allegra or Zyrtec or generic equivalents.
For more severe allergies:
- Nasal steroids or antihistamines are available by prescription.
- Testing can help identify what causes your allergic reaction.
- You can reduce exposure, for example, by spending more time indoors on high pollen days, ideally in air conditioned spaces.
- Immunotherapy (shots) can desensitize the immune system and reduce allergic reactions.
University Health Service offers consultation, as well as testing and treatment for allergies. For currently enrolled U-M students, clinic visits are free. See the UHS website to learn more about allergy services.
Contributed By: Carol Tucker