Seasonal Allergies

When a person has seasonal allergies, the body’s immune system mistakenly treats everyday substances like pollen or mold as invaders. These substances are called allergens. An allergic reaction occurs as the immune system tries to fight off the allergen.

Seasonal allergies affect an estimated 40 to 50 million people in the United States.

Types of Seasonal Allergies

  • Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is an allergy to pollen that is present in the air at certain times of year. Symptoms include itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, and eyes; sneezing; stuffy nose; runny nose; and tearing eyes.
  • Eye allergy or allergic conjunctivitis is an allergic reaction to pollen that affects the eyes. Eyes may become watery, itchy, sore, red or swollen.
  • Mold allergy is an allergic reaction to mold spores that are present in the air at certain times of year. Symptoms include sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; runny nose; nasal congestion or itchy nose, mouth and lips.

Doctors Who Treat Seasonal Allergies

As seasonal allergies are diagnosed, treated and managed, you may see one or more of the following providers.

  • Allergist/Immunologist: Commonly referred to as an allergist, this type of doctor is specially trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and other immune system disorders.
  • Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist: This type of doctor is specially trained to diagnose, treat and manage allergies, asthma and other immune system disorders in children.
  • Internist or Family Physician: Doctors who provide general medical care for adults. Adults with seasonal allergies may initially be diagnosed and treated by an internist or family physician.
  • Pediatrician: Doctor who specializes in the medical care of children. Children with seasonal allergies may initially be diagnosed and treated by a pediatrician.
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