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Sep 26, 2022

Itchy, watery eyes? Blocked nose? Many suffer from seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, during springtime. But what are seasonal allergies, what are the symptoms, and how can you prevent and treat them? 

Seasonal allergies
You may suffer from seasonal allergies when your immune system overreacts to natural irritants, also known as allergens, like pollen and spores (including mold spores). They may cause inflammation and irritation to your nose and eyes. In extreme cases, allergens may cause difficulty breathing and even asthma.

Seasonal allergy symptoms may include:

  • itchy eyes, nose and/or throat
  • watery eyes
  • blocked and/or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • a post-nasal drip
  • coughing
  • fatigue

Here are a few tips to decrease your exposure to seasonal allergens:

  • Start taking medicine(s) before the start of spring if you know you suffer from seasonal allergies.
  • Check the daily pollen levels in your area, if possible. TV and radio news, and the weather app on your cell phone may show if the levels are low, medium or high. If pollen levels are high, avoid outdoor activities as much as possible.
  • Avoid outdoor activities on dry and windy days.
  • Close doors and windows to keep pollen and spores out, if possible.
  • Dust and clean surfaces in your home often.
  • Wear a mask if you need to mow the lawn, rake leaves or work in your garden.
  • Shower and change your clothes if you’ve spent time outdoors. Pollen and spores stick to skin, hair and clothes.
  • Dry your laundry inside, if possible, to avoid allergens sticking to your laundry.
  • Use high-efficiency filters in air conditioners.

Over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medicines, such as saline nasal rinses, antihistamines, decongestants and cough medicines, may help to relieve your symptoms. Your healthcare practitioner may prescribe a steroidal nose spray for additional relief, if needed.

In severe cases, where your allergies don’t ease off, your healthcare practitioner may recommend allergen immunotherapy. You may need to have skin test or blood test to find out exactly what you are allergic to. Your doctor may then recommend that you be exposed to the allergen(s) in small doses over a long period of time. This should help to build your immune system’s response to the allergen(s) over time. This treatment may include injections that contain the specific allergen(s), or prescription drops or tablets (only available for certain allergies, such as grass, at this time).

Bestmed is here for you
Bestmed Medical Scheme
covers chronic medicines for allergic rhinitis as a Non-Chronic Disease List (Non-CDL) condition on Beat3, Beat4, Pace1, Pace2, Pace3 and Pace4.

Over-the-counter benefits are available across all options except Beat1 and Rhythm1.

You can also find your nearest healthcare practitioner via the Bestmed member portal online or via the Bestmed App.


Calderon, M.A., Alves, B., Jacobson, M., Hurwitz, B., Sheikh, A. & Durham, S. 2007. Allergen injection immunotherapy for season allergic rhinitis. National Library of Medicine. Available [Online]: Allergen injection immunotherapy for seasonal allergic rhinitis - PMC (nih.gov).
Mayo Clinic. 2022. Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Available [Online]: Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud - Mayo Clinic.
Yale Medicine. 2022. Seasonal Allergies (Allergic Rhinitis). Available [Online]: Seasonal Allergies (Allergic Rhinitis) > Fact Sheets > Yale Medicine.


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