Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies are considered allergies that result from exposure to substances, namely pollen, that are airborne and that only occur certain times during the year. Seasonal allergies are known to cause sneezing, runny nose, itchy skin, as well as itchy and/or watery, or even bloodshot eyes.

These allergies can usually be diagnosed by a doctor if these symptoms present during a certain season. Certain decongestants, antihistamines, and corticosteroid nasal sprays can offer relief of symptoms.

Seasonal Allergies and Hay Fever

Seasonal allergies are not uncommon. Occurring only during certain seasons—notably the spring, summer, or fall— season allergies vary relative to what kind of pollen or airborne irritant a person may be allergic to.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies present primarily in certain membranes: either in the membrane lining the nose, in turn causing what is known as allergic rhinitis, or sometimes in the membranes which line eyelids and cover conjunctiva (the whites of the eyes) in turn causing what is called allergic conjunctivitis.

The term hay fever can seem a bit misleading because hay fever symptoms do not in fact occur only in the summertime, which is when hay is typically gathered. Nor do hay fever symptoms ever include fevers. In actuality, hay fever is simply considered an allergic reaction to grasses and pollens. The pollens that cause these allergic reactions are different each season:

Spring: In springs usually tree pollens are responsible for hay fever: (trees such as elm, oak, birch, alder, poplar, beech, olive, and ash)

Summer: In summer usually grasses (including weed) are the cause of hay fever (weeds such as English plantain and Russian thistle, and grasses such as timothy, Bermuda, orchard, Johnson grass, and sweet vernal)

Fall: In fall Ragweed is the most typical cause of hay fever.

Also, it is important to note that different regions of a country will have very specific pollen seasons.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies can irritate and/or cause itchiness in the nose, the eyes, the roof of the mouth, and the back of the throat. The onset of allergy associated Itching may come on abruptly or develop gradually. Often the nose starts to be runny, and a clear watery discharge develops and may even cause nasal stuffiness. (Sometimes in children, a stuffy nose can eventually lead to an infection in the ear.) As the nose begins to feel itchy and runny, the lining of the nose may become bluish red and/or swollen.
Once the nose is stuffy it is not uncommon for sinuses to become stuffed up, as well, which in turn can cause headaches, sinus headaches, and even sometimes sinus infections (also known as sinusitis).

With hay fever, sneezing is also very common. Often the eyes will water, and may become very itchy. A reddening in the whites of the eyes is also typical, and even a person’s eyelids can become swollen and red. Contact lenses can further irritate a person’s when allergies are present.

Other common symptoms of hay fever include wheezing (especially for those who may also have asthma), coughing, and even occasional trouble sleeping and/or irritability.

Hay fever symptoms and severity will depend on the season, location, and a person’s individual allergies.

If you are experiencing one or many of these symptoms it is important to thoroughly discuss with your health care practitioner.

What are Symptoms of Pollen Allergies