How to manage seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies

After a long winter, there’s nothing better than knowing spring and summer are near. But if you have seasonal allergies, the constant sneezing, congestion and other symptoms can make it hard to enjoy the warmer temperatures. However, relief is possible, and Humana Pharmacy® is here to help you find medications and make lifestyle changes so you can enjoy spring and summer.

What causes seasonal allergies?

Some people have pollen allergies year-round, while others only have them during certain times of the year. Most pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses and weeds. The allergy season starts in the spring and continues until fall, but different allergens—the substances that trigger allergies—appear at different times. You breathe in the small pollen particles and your body releases histamines to fight back. These histamines are responsible for the allergy symptoms you experience, including:¹

  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Itching 

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider to see if you have seasonal allergies.

Lifestyle changes for seasonal allergies 

There are some simple ways to keep your sniffles and sneezes at bay during allergy season, including:²

  • Checking the pollen forecast
  • Keeping your doors and windows shut
  • Limiting your time outside, especially on dry, hot days
  • Removing clothes worn outside and taking a shower to wash pollen from your skin
  • Wearing a mask when doing outdoor chores, like mowing the lawn

If you need additional help treating your seasonal allergy symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter (OTC) medications

Medications for seasonal allergies 

One benefit of having many remedies available is that it’s easy to find a method that works for you. You can take medicine orally in pill form, use a nasal spray or get a shot at your healthcare provider’s office.

Your healthcare provider may suggest the following OTC medications to treat your seasonal allergies:

  • Antihistamines: Claritin®, Zyrtec®, Allegra®, Benadryl®
  • Decongestants:* Afrin®, Vicks®, Sudafed®
  • Nasal sprays: Flonase®

If OTC remedies don’t work, visit your healthcare provider to see if allergy shots would be a good option for you. Allergy shots work by regularly injecting you with tiny amounts of the substances that cause your allergies. As you continue to get injected regularly, your immune system’s reaction to the allergens will decrease.³

* Please note you should only take Afrin for 3–5 days, as this can cause rebound congestion if taken for longer. Talk with your healthcare provider before using decongestions if you use blood pressure medications.

Humana Pharmacy and seasonal allergies

If you have questions about your seasonal allergies, your healthcare provider is the best person to speak with. Your healthcare provider will tell you what medications are right for you. Pharmacists at Humana Pharmacy can also provide tips on how to take your medications safely. You can reach our pharmacists by calling 800-379-0092 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Eastern time.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.

Sources

  1. Michael Kerr, “Seasonal Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment,” Healthline, last accessed April 13, 2022, https://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/seasonal-allergies#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1.
  2. “Seasonal Allergies,” American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, last accessed April 13, 2022, https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/seasonal-allergies/.
  3. “Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed April 13, 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343

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