Unfortunately, beautiful flowers and warm weather can also mean itchy, watery eyes, sneezing fits and nasal congestion.
These days, pollen from plants and flowers typically are released earlier in the year than in the past, causing longer allergy seasons, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, which noted that 2012 was one of the worst such seasons on record.
While there is no cure-all for seasonal allergies, popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications can provide relief for the most common symptoms. These guidelines can help you better manage your seasonal allergies:
Season for Sneezing
Popular OTC antihistamines can provide relief from sneezing, runny noses and irritated, watery eyes by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical in the body that triggers congestion and upper respiratory discomfort.
All Stuffed Up?
Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (PSE) relieve a stuffy nose by actually narrowing the blood vessels in nasal passages so you can breathe more easily. PSEs are now located behind the pharmacy counter because they are an ingredient that can be used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine (meth). Rest assured though, PSE has been safely used for decades.