Vijay Patel, MD

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What are seasonal allergies? Read on to know more about them.

Seasonal allergies cause you to sneeze and cough and suffer through itchy eyes and a runny nose at specific times of the year. You don’t have to suffer these symptoms. Internal medicine specialist, Dr. Vijay Patel, can help you identify your triggers and treat the symptoms, so you feel good all year round. If you live in Perth Amboy, New Jersey or Matawan, New Jersey, call one of his offices to make an appointment, or use the convenient online booking agent to get on the road to allergy relief today.

Seasonal Allergies Q & A

What are seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies occur during certain times of the year, often in response to blooming trees or the release of pollen from grass and weeds. You suffer seasonal allergies because your immune system treats these triggers as dangerous and perceives them as invading your system, so it releases chemicals – namely histamine – into your bloodstream as a defense. When you release these chemicals, allergy symptoms occur.

What causes seasonal allergies?

Any number of triggers can cause seasonal allergies. Grass, mold, and pollen are common. You may also find certain patterns to your allergies that have to do with the climate in which you live. For example, molds tend to grow quickly in hot, humid climates. Wind spreads pollen more rapidly, especially during the morning hours. Rain can wash away triggers, but the pollen and mold can come back intensely following a rainstorm. Changing climates isn’t a guarantee that you’ll find relief from allergies. If you’re susceptible to allergies, allergens exist just about everywhere. You can also be allergic to more than one thing – so tree pollen and grass might trigger you.

Who is at risk of developing seasonal allergies?

You can develop seasonal allergies at just about any age. They usually develop by the time you’re 10 and peak in your 20s. However, seasonal allergies don’t always follow these rules.

What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

doctor checking patient's lungs resultSeasonal allergies can sometimes feel like a cold. But allergy symptoms usually come on suddenly and can last for several weeks or months – as long as you’re exposed to the trigger. Symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue and malaise
  • Itchy or sore throat and nose
  • Congestion with clear discharge from the nose
  • Coughing

Some people develop red, itchy eyes. In some people who have asthma, seasonal allergies can trigger an attack.

How can seasonal allergies be managed?

Dr. Patel can help you make lifestyle changes to reduce your exposure to symptoms, such as:

  • Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning
  • Minimizing outdoor activity when pollen, grass, and weed counts are high
  • Washing your hands and shower often, especially after being outside

He can also suggest over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants and antihistamines. If you don’t respond well to more moderate interventions, you may also be eligible for prescription medications and steroids.