Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is the best way to deal with seasonal allergies?"
I get sneezy and congested in the summer, I think its from allergies. Should I just take over the counter antihistamines, or should I talk to a doctor?
Seasonal allergies can be very frustrating and depending on your exact symptoms there are different treatment options available. You should speak with your primary care doctor to discuss you history and possibilities for treatment. The inflammation of nasal mucosal surfaces is known as rhinitis and is associated with nasal congestion, rhinorrhea (runny nose), sneezing, and itching. Rhinitis caused by allergies - known as allergic rhinitis - is the most common cause of these symptoms, especially if you see a seasonal pattern to the symptoms. One of the most common areas affected is the nose, but the ears, eyes, throat, and sinuses can also be involved. Allergic rhinitis is actually very common and affects about 40 million people in the United States. Prior to speaking with your physician, it would be helpful if you could try to determine your specific allergy triggers. Example of triggers include smoke, strong fragrances, outdoor pollen, dust, and animal hair. You should speak with your physician regarding treatment of your symptoms. Most common treatment include systemic antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids. As much as possible, avoidance of allergic triggers is also extremely helpful. Please follow up with your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms, possibility of allergic rhinitis and the best treatment for your history and symptoms.
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