Seasonal Allergies Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

Seasonal allergies generally refer to allergic rhinitis. This condition is also known as hay fever. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology [1] (AAAAI), it affects about eight percent of Americans. If you have allergic reactions at certain times of the year but not others, chances are high that you have a seasonal allergy. Many people with seasonal allergies do not always know they have it. This is especially true if the symptoms are mild. Some people may only observe that they tend to have watery, itchy eyes or stuffy noses during certain seasons.

This allergic reaction is typically caused by allergens that multiply during some seasons of the year. Many things act as allergens but the majority of seasonal allergies are triggered by pollen. There are different types of pollen and people can be allergic to some types but not others. These pollens typically come from wind-pollinated plants.

Seasonal allergies are uncommon during the winter. Depending on the type of pollen you are allergic to, you may experience symptoms in spring, summer, or fall of every year. If you are allergic to multiple types of allergens, you may allergic reactions in more than one season. Winter allergies are normally triggered by indoor allergens and are easier to manage. This article discusses the symptoms of seasonal allergies and ways to treat and manage the condition.

Signs and symptoms

Seasonal allergies trigger many symptoms. The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person. If you have seasonal allergens and are exposed to triggers, you may experience some or any of the following symptoms [2]:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Ear congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Itchy sinuses and/or throat

You may also experience headaches, shortness of breath, or wheezing. These symptoms are not very common. If you have asthma, seasonal allergens may cause you to experience asthma attacks more frequently. Anaphylaxis [3] is rare, but if you experience severe shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or nausea, you should call an ambulance. Give yourself an epinephrine shot while you wait if you have one with you.