Dr. M.J. Bazos MD, Patient Handout
What are allergies and what causes them?
You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that don’t cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. Sometimes the term “hay fever” or “rose fever” is used to describe an allergic reaction to allergens in the air. Your body’s overreaction to an allergen is what causes allergy symptoms (see the box to the right).

Common symptoms of allergies:

How can I avoid problems?
It is not easy to avoid most allergens. To avoid suffering with a runny nose and sneezing, try to figure out what allergens cause problems for you. Then stay away from them as much as possible. Here are some tips on how to avoid common allergens:

What medicines can I take to help relieve my symptoms?
If avoiding allergens doesn’t help enough, you may need to try allergy medicines. Some common types are described below: