Seasonal allergies cause sneezing and watery eyes, right? If you suffer from these symptoms every spring when the pollen starts flying, then yes, you are probably right to blame them on seasonal allergies. However, many people who have seasonal allergies do not realize it because they figure that if they don't have sneezing and watery eyes, allergies are not to blame for their problems. Here are some lesser-known symptoms that may actually be attributable to seasonal allergies if they appear in the springtime.
Sometimes, people who get headaches in the spring assume they are dehydrated and not drinking enough to keep up with their sweating in the warmer weather. Or you may assume your headaches are due to a lack of sleep as you've been out enjoying the nice weather rather than going to bed early. While these are possible causes of headaches, another possibility is that they're caused by seasonal allergies. Exposure to pollen may cause the tissues inside your sinuses to swell, leading to throbbing headache pain. This can happen in conjunction with or in the absence of a runny or stuffy nose, so you may not connect it to allergies at first.
A sore throat usually indicates that you're about to get a cold. But if the sore throat keeps reoccurring each morning, fading away during the day, and then returning the next morning, it could be due to allergies. Sometimes instead of causing your nose to run, allergies cause your nasal secretions to run internally and drip down the back of your throat. This can make your throat sore, especially in the morning after you've been laying down all night, which encourages the drainage to become more pronounced. Cough drops may help in the short-term, as may taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
If you breathe through your mouth sometimes, your mouth may take the brunt of the pollen exposure. In a way, this is a good thing. Pollen that gets trapped in your mouth does not end up in your airways where it could cause sneezing, a sore throat, and other symptoms. However, your mouth tissues may become really itchy and irritated. The sensation may ease up when you take a sip of water or when you go inside where there is not as much pollen. Over time, a dry, itchy mouth can cause damage to your teeth and gums since oral bacteria replicate when saliva is scarce — so don't ignore your itchy mouth.
Some people get watery eyes when exposed to allergens, but other people get dry eyes. Your eyes may feel as though you just got warm air blown into them. They may feel scratchy when you blink or close your eyes. Eye dryness can cause more serious damage to your eyes, such as scratched corneas, and it also puts you at risk for eye infections. You can use eye drops to moisturize your eyes and rinse some of the allergens out in the short-term, but you should really see an allergist to have your allergies diagnosed and to obtain oral allergy medications that prevent eye dryness in the first place.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, you may have allergies that have gone undiagnosed up until this point. Contact an allergist to make an appointment for an allergy test. Allergy testing is not nearly as difficult as you might imagine. Your allergist can expose you to small amounts of many different allergens at once and deduce which ones cause reactions. Then, you will know which allergens to avoid, which should ease your symptoms.
Contact an organization that provides kits such as ALCAT allergy test kits for more information.