Symptoms of Allergies - Causes & Treatment

When spring arrives, do you instinctively reach for a box of tissues? Maybe your allergies occur throughout the year. Allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, can cause your nasal passages to swell, which narrows the airways. They also cause increased mucus production in your nose, leading to feelings of stuffiness. All of these changes cause nasal allergy symptoms.

Allergies develop when your immune system, which protects your body from germs, reacts to certain common substances that are not germs. These substances are called allergens, and when an allergen comes into contact with your body, your immune system releases chemicals called histamines. Allergens can include pollen, mold, skin cells, dander from pets, cockroaches and their droppings and dust mite droppings.

Some of the most common symptoms of allergies include:

  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Inflammation

In the case of seasonal allergies, or seasonal rhinitis, you may only experience these symptoms for part of the year. Commonly referred to as “hay fever,” seasonal allergies in Florida can start as early as November and last through May.

If you experience allergy symptoms that are accompanied by dizziness, respiratory problems, or problems swallowing, seek immediate medical attention.