How to Control Seasonal Allergies

April 5, 2022

Allergies are no joking matter, and they come back suddenly just when you’ve gotten used to not having to deal with them. Seasonal allergies require much maintenance from many sufferers trying to get relief. There are a few tricks and options that can help manage seasonal allergies.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Short Hills today for seasonal allergy treatment. Don’t let your allergies get the best of you. Receive care as soon as you need it. 


It is important to understand the symptoms of allergies. When the body comes in contact with pollen or another irritant, it reacts by releasing histamine and causing symptoms. The symptoms associated with allergies include watery eyes, itchy throat, sneezing or stuffy nose, sinus pain, or cough. While these symptoms could indicate a cold or the flu if they are off and on or last for weeks, they are likely seasonal allergies. Fevers and body aches are not usually associated with allergies and likely indicate an infection.

Steam and Sprays

A major symptom and annoyance of allergies is a stuffy nose. The immune system overreacts to the irritants and causes congestion, preventing clear breathing. There are a few options to help clear this blockage and return breathing to normal. Two types of nasal sprays can be used to combat nasal congestion. There are saline sprays that moisturize the nasal passages for relief, usually working right away. There are also medicated nasal steroid sprays that help reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. These sprays can actually be used together while following instructions. 

Steam can also be used in addition to these sprays. A hot shower, a humidifier, or a neti pot can all be used to provide hot steam that is breathed in. This warm air will help moisturize and loosen nasal passages.


There are many medication options for managing allergies. Antihistamines are the best option as they help stop the allergies at the source. Most antihistamines last for 12-24 hours and help block the histamine that the body releases in response to pollen or allergens. Benadryl or diphenhydramine is also an antihistamine, but it causes drowsiness.

Antihistamines can be taken before allergy season begins so that the body never has a major reaction once it starts. Allergy medication should be added to the daily routine so that it helps prevent symptoms rather than manage them as they arrive.


Eye drops also help relieve the red, watery or itchy eyes caused by allergies. The other allergy medications may assist with this, but for more severe cases, eye drops are recommended. There are medicated eye drops that contain antihistamines and lubricating eye drops that relieve dryness. These drops can be added to a regular regimen to help provide relief. Lubricating drops can be used before medicated drops to decrease any stinging.

The Bad

Decongestants like Sudafed help relieve the stuffiness caused by allergies and are also in cold medicines. They work well but usually only last for hours at a time. Decongestants can be dangerous as they have unwanted side effects and shouldn't be used for long periods. 

Phenylephrine, known by the brand name Afrin, is a decongestant nasal spray. It also works well, but only for a  certain number of hours. Afrin should not be used daily and can cause serious side effects if used for more than a few days. 

When To Use

It is important to choose the allergy medication that’s best for you. Speaking to a doctor can help determine a practical choice to gain relief. Allergy medication should be taken consistently and started before symptoms begin to present. These medications can be taken before bed or as a morning routine. Remember, Benadryl may cause drowsiness and should be taken before bed. If these medications don’t work for more severe allergies, speak to a doctor about getting a prescription.

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