These symptoms are due to the body's immune reaction to foreign substances. They can include itchy and watery eyes, itchy and runny nose and sneezing.
Allergy symptoms happen when the body's immune system reacts in certain ways to foreign substances, known as allergens. Symptoms can include itchy and watery eyes, itchy and runny nose and sneezing. More severe symptoms can include swelling of the eyelids or other parts of the body and difficulty breathing.
Some other reasons for a stuffy nose include:
In these cases, the symptoms are caused by irritation and not an allergy.
Allergy symptoms often run in families. If your parents have allergies, you are more likely to have them. Though many allergies start in childhood, they can also begin at any time of life. It is not known why some people have allergies and others do not. The first time you are exposed to an allergen, you will not have symptoms. However, your body will “recognize” the substance as an allergen and you will be sensitized. You may then have symptoms the next time you are exposed. If you have allergies and are exposed to an allergen, your first symptoms usually include:
After a while, the initial symptoms can progress and lead to:
Allergy symptoms can vary a lot, but may become worse with successive exposures. Before you see a healthcare provider for your allergies, you can try some things at home. These include:
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate, consult your healthcare provider before taking over-the-counter antihistamines.
While allergy symptoms can improve with self-care, there may be times you need to see a healthcare provider for further treatment. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.
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