common allergy symptoms

Common Allergy Symptoms: Puffy Eyes, Runny Nose, and Sinus Pressure

Puffy eyes, sinus pressure, runny nose – are these symptoms of allergy? Yes, all these are symptoms of an allergic reaction or complications of allergies. In this article, we’ll review these common allergy symptoms and complications from infections.

When someone has an allergy, it means the immune system attacks certain allergens. This reaction triggers the release of histamine, which leads to inflammation and itchiness. The most common allergy symptoms affect the eyes, nose, and respiratory tract. Food allergy symptoms affect inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract too.

Allergy symptoms can vary greatly from one individual to another. Some allergies can be severe, life-threatening causing anaphylaxis. If you experience a drop in blood pressure, hives, severe vomiting or diarrhea, chest tightness, abnormal heart rate, or loss of consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.

woman with puffy eyes from allergy symptoms

Puffy Eyes

Airborne allergens often cause puffy eyes when someone experiences allergy symptoms. These allergens include pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites. When inhaled, they could cause other symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and an itchy nose.

The eyes become puffy because the excess histamine makes the blood vessels in the eye swell. Besides being puffy, the eyes may also become watery, itchy, and red.

Allergens such as contact lenses, eye drops, and makeup may also cause puffy eyes. It’s important to be careful with these substances as they come in direct contact with the eye. The most common eye allergy is allergic conjunctivitis.

You can also ingest allergens that cause this allergy symptom. Shellfish is one allergen known to cause puffy eyes as well as other allergy symptoms like hives and nausea.

You can treat puffy eyes as an allergy symptom with over-the-counter products. Antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and tear substitutes for contact allergens will relieve your symptoms.

You can also use home remedies to heal puffy eyes. Cold compresses applied to the eyes can temporarily reduce puffiness and itching. Some prefer cucumber slices or cold chamomile tea compresses.

In cases of allergies caused by contact lenses, it is best to replace them with regular glasses. Hypoallergenic cosmetics are available for those who have allergies to chemicals from makeup.

man blowing his nose with allergy symptoms

Runny Nose

Our noses produce mucus every day, but we usually don’t notice it as it’s mixed with saliva and in our throats. Mucus serves as a protective barrier to moisten the air we breathe and keep microbes, dust, and pollen from our respiratory tract.

Sometimes, irritation or inflammation in the nasal passage can lead to increased mucus production. For someone with allergies, an inhaled allergen will irritate the nasal passage causing a runny nose from the excess mucus. Most people experience a runny nose as a symptom of hay fever, where you’ll inhale the allergen. Some allergies are seasonal, such as pollen, while others are perennial, such as dust or pet dander.

The excess mucus could also cause allergic postnasal drip. This is when the mucus drips to the back of the throat and causes a feeling to clear the throat or cough. You may also have a postnasal drip from a cold or sinus infection.

You can treat these allergy symptoms with over-the-counter decongestants of antihistamines. Antihistamines and decongestants are not recommended for children younger than six years of age.

Nasal irrigation with saline solutions is helpful and safe for young children. A humidifier or inhaling steam can help reduce inflammation and eliminate excess mucus. It is important to stay well hydrated, so the mucus stays thinner and can be easier eliminated.

Mucinex is a medication that helps thin the mucus. Sleeping on propped-up pillows can also keep the mucus from collecting at the back of the throat.

woman with sinus pressure

Sinus Pressure

Another allergy symptom to look out for is sinus pressure. You’ll often feel tenderness around the cheeks and eyes and may have nasal discharge. Irritated sinuses could also become infected. When an infection occurs, nasal discharge may become greenish.

With sinus infections, you’ll also experience headaches, coughing, and fatigue. While most infections get better on their own, there are methods to relieve the symptoms. Try using saline solutions, nasal corticosteroids, and decongestants to feel better. However, if the sinus infection is bacterial, you’ll need antibiotics.

Do You Experience These Allergy Symptoms?

The most common allergy symptoms are puffy eyes, a runny nose, and sinus pressure. Oftentimes, these are symptoms of hay fever, where an allergen is inhaled.

While these allergy symptoms may feel uncomfortable, you shouldn’t feel concerned. There are plenty of over-the-counter medicines and home remedies available to relieve them.

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