More than 1 in 4 U.S. adults suffers from seasonal allergies


More than 1 in 4 adults – 26 percent – has seasonal allergies, the most prevalent allergic condition afflicting U.S. residents, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A companion report, on allergies in children, found that a smaller percentage – 19 percent, or nearly 1 in 5 children – has a seasonal allergy. Also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, seasonal allergies can occur throughout the year but are most common in spring, when the body’s immune system reacts to pollen from grasses and trees.

Symptoms may include sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, and itching around the nose, eyes and ears. The CDC researchers found that the likelihood of young people having a seasonal allergy increases with age, from 10 percent of children 5 and younger to 24 percent of those ages 12 to 17. The opposite occurs among adults, with 25 percent of adults 44 and younger having a seasonal allergy vs. 22 percent of those 75 and older.

The CDC researchers also found that seasonal allergies are more common among boys than girls and among women than men.

Health experts generally agree that reducing exposure to pollen is key to controlling a seasonal allergy. That starts with monitoring pollen counts in your area via weather apps or local media reports. It also means spending less time outside on dry, windy days, keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high, and possibly wearing a face mask if outside activity is a must.

Treating symptoms usually starts with over-the-counter remedies, such as decongestants, antihistamines and nasal sprays or solutions. For more severe cases, allergy shots (immunotherapy) aim to ease the body’s reactions over time.



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