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Pollen overload

Do you spend the first weeks of every spring with itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a hacking cough? Even worse, you can’t stop sneezing, and you sometimes have sinus pressure and a headache? To compound the problem, since the COVID pandemic, everyone is more self-conscious about coughing, sneezing, and nose-blowing in public.

If the uncomfortable symptoms recur every year in March or April, chances are good that you are suffering from seasonal allergies, commonly called hay fever, although in most cases, the symptoms have nothing to do with exposure to hay. Rather, seasonal pollen production, chiefly from trees in April, May, and June causes the uncomfortable symptoms. Grass pollen appears during the summer, and in the fall, the dreaded ragweed is the primary culprit. An allergic reaction occurs when your body identifies a normally harmless substance as a dangerous invader that must be repelled.

Hay fever is allergic rhinitis, or inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages, ...

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