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If you find yourself saying “bless you” more often these days, that’s because hay fever season is here. Hay fever season begins in the spring and runs through the fall, with ragweed being one of the major culprits.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, approximately 7.8 percent of people in the United States age 18 and older have hay fever. Also known as allergic rhinitis and caused by an allergic response to airborne substances, its symptoms are primarily felt in the nose and eyes. There is no hay or fever involved, just the result of the body’s reaction to the presence of allergens, foreign particles such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander.

For relief, decongestants provide relief for nasal congestion, while antihistamines help with runny noses, sneezing and itchy eyes. However, people with heart disease, high blood pressure, glaucoma, prostate problems or pregnant and nursing women should consult their doctor before taking any of these medications.

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