Five things to know about allergies

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Fall is around the corner, and that means seasonal allergies for many people. Now is a great time to get to know some of the facts that surround this issue that so many people experience each fall. Knowing more about allergy season makes it that much easier to control symptoms, whether the information is helpful for you or for someone in your family.

Allergies are when the immune system causes an overreaction to an allergen. They can be triggered by indoor or outdoor things, including pollen, food, mold, etc. Here are five things to know about allergy season:

  1. Causes. Common causes of allergies in the fall season are ragweed and mold spores. Pet dander, indoor mold, and even Christmas trees can trigger allergies when you’re indoors during the winter.
  2. Costly. People are seeking a lot of relief when it comes to allergies. In addition to all the money that is spent on medications to try and get allergy relief, there is an additional $10 billion spent each year in America on non-medicinal consumer products that are touted as helping with allergies, such as vacuums, cleaners, bedding, and toys.
  3. Common. Common allergy symptoms include itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, congestion, teary eyes, runny nose, and dark circles under the eyes. Some allergy sufferers may experience these symptoms worse than others.
  4. Hay fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 17 million people last year were diagnosed with hay fever. Additionally, 6.6 million children were diagnosed with it. There were also more than 11 million people who visited a doctor’s office last year due to allergic rhinitis, which triggers the host of symptoms most allergy sufferers are familiar with.
  5. Congestion. A common symptom, it can be problematic for children and especially infants. Newborns must breathe through their nose, so congestion can make for a miserable time trying to breathe. It can also interfere with their ears, hearing, and speech development. Parents can help relieve congestion, which is caused by a swelling of the blood vessels, by using an aspirator to remove anything.
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