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Summer allergies: Something to sneeze at!

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Dalia Ibrahim
Digital Reporter

Friday, August 29, 2014, 3:59 PM -

As if dry eyes and a runny nose weren't enough to ruin your warm weather look, summer allergies can gift you with even more than you’ve bargained for this time of year.

In fact, some extreme symptoms can leave you looking like you lost a round in a boxing ring. 

“Summer allergies can cause severe symptoms for some sufferers, and can be just as bad as the spring and fall seasons,” says allergist Michael Foggs, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) “Symptoms aren’t always limited to the hallmark sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Black eyes, lines across the nose and other cosmetic symptoms can occur.”


RELATED: Researchers finds link between moist wipes and allergies


Experts say even if you've never before had allergies, they can suddenly strike at any age and time of year. 

“Summer allergy symptoms can easily be mistaken for colds, food intolerances or other ailments,”adds Dr. adds Foggs. “If your symptoms are persistent and lasting for more than two weeks you should see your allergist for proper testing, diagnosis and treatment. Finding and treating the source of your suffering can also clear up other unwanted symptoms.” 

If you suffer with mild to moderate symptoms, specialists say allergy medicine may help. 

"If you're suffering from runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes I will recommend an antihistamine med for your symptoms," says allergist-immunologist Dr. Erinn Gardner. "But if nasal congestion is an issue then it's a decongestant that may be more helpful."


POLLEN OUTLOOK: What's the pollen count in your area? Find out here!


When these efforts don't seem to be helping it may be time for allergy shots. 

"Allergy shots are nice in that they help you build an immunity to the things you're allergic to, so that over time, we see a decrease in symptoms," adds Dr. Gardner. 

It can also help to keep the windows closed and the AC on to reduce your exposure to the pollen. 

Another tip, take a shower when you get in if you've been outdoors for a while. This will wash away excess pollen. 


SEE ALSO: Feeling itchy? Four unusual allergies


Before turning to over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal relief sprays, allergy sufferers should speak with an allergist to ensure medication is right for them and enough to combat symptoms. 

For more information about seasonal allergies, and to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.

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