Seasonal Allergies

Allergist located in Valencia, CA

Seasonal Allergies

Approximately 8% of Americans experience seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever. Symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes can affect your day-to-day functioning and ability to get a good night’s rest. Maricar Cutillar-Garcia, MD, provides expert seasonal allergy care to patients of all ages at her practice in Valencia, California. You may benefit from prescription nasal sprays or medication, allergy shots, or useful tips when approaching a season that makes your allergies worse. To book an appointment, call the office today or use the convenient online scheduling tool. 

Seasonal Allergies Q & A

What are seasonal allergies?

An allergy that occurs during a particular season is commonly known as hay fever. Your immune system identifies an allergen that’s usually harmless as dangerous and then overcompensates by releasing chemicals into your bloodstream — this can lead to an allergic reaction. 

Depending on where you reside and your allergy triggers, you may experience allergies during more than one season.

Trees and their pollen are responsible for most springtime seasonal allergies. Summertime triggers include grasses, such as ryegrass and timothy grass, and certain weeds. 

In fall, ragweed can cause allergies, as well as certain plant pollen. In the winter, most outdoor allergens are dormant, but you may still experience sensitivity to indoor allergens, like mold, dust mites, cockroaches, or pet dander.

What are the symptoms of seasonal allergies? 

Symptoms of seasonal allergies range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Itching in your sinuses, throat, or ear canals
  • Congestion in your ears 
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or coughing 
  • Fatigue

If you have both seasonal allergies and asthma, allergens may trigger an asthma attack. It’s important to communicate with your provider about your condition so they can help you prevent an attack. 

What are my treatment options for seasonal allergies?

Your provider may check your ears, nose, and throat to make a diagnosis. They may conduct a skin test, where they prick the surface of your skin and inject a small amount of the suspected allergens. If an allergy exists, your skin may become inflamed, red, and swollen.

Your provider may also recommend blood tests to identify seasonal allergies. They then work with you to identify treatment options that can relieve your symptoms. They may have you: 

  • Avoid triggering allergens
  • Monitor pollen and mold counts 
  • Keep windows and doors in your home closed during allergy seasons
  • Shower or change your clothes after you’ve been outside 
  • Wear an N95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing outdoor chores 
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants and antihistamines
  • Use prescription steroid nasal spray
  • Undergo an allergy shot treatment plan (for severe cases)
  • Take biologic medications (if you also have asthma) 
  • Keep your home and bedding clean during the winter season
  • Use a dehumidifier to eliminate excess moisture
  • Avoid cigarette smoke 

To learn more about how to improve your seasonal allergies, call Maricar Cutillar-Garcia, MD, today or book an appointment online.