Causes: Any airborne irritant that triggers the release of histamine in your body. Trees and grass pollen is most common in Spring and Summer. Fall is the time for ragweed pollen, dust and molds.
Symptoms: A runny or stuffed nose, itchy/watering eyes, headache, sneezing, or sore throat.
When to see a doctor: If symptoms linger or worsen, make an appointment with your doctor. You may have a more serious infection or sinusitis.
Prevention: Try to avoid the allergens that trigger a response. Stay indoors as much as possible during hay fever season. Keep windows shut and use your air conditioner. Try not to rub your eyes. Get regular exercise, which helps keep nasal passages open. If over-the-counter remedies don't work effectively, see a doctor for other medications or desensitization therapy.
General treatment strategies: The same as those listed under Prevention. If these don't help, an antihistamines or nasal spray may bring relief.