Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link
Quick Facts

Year-Round Allergies


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Jan 2021| Content last modified Jan 2021
Click here for the Professional Version
Get the full details

What are year-round allergies?

An allergy is when your body's immune system Overview of the Immune System The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system's job is to attack things that don’t belong in your body, including: Germs... read more reacts to something harmless, such as food, plants, or medicine. The substance that causes the allergic reaction is called an allergen.

Year-round allergies are:

  • Allergies that happen throughout the year

  • Year-round allergies are your body’s reaction to substances in the air, most commonly house dust

  • Usually they cause a stuffy, runny, or itchy nose, an itchy throat, or red and itchy eyes

  • Avoiding the allergen is best, but medicine can help with your symptoms

What causes year-round allergies?

Year-round allergies are caused by your immune system reacting to something harmless. They're often caused by:

  • House dust

  • Droppings from cockroaches

  • Animal dander from house pets

What are the symptoms of year-round allergies?

Symptoms include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose

  • Itchy nose, mouth, or throat

  • Watery, red, itchy, swollen eyes

  • Sneezing

  • Problems with hearing or constant ear infections (especially in children)

  • Repeated sinus infections or nasal polyps (growths inside the nose)

How do doctors treat year-round allergies?

Doctors will treat you with:

  • Corticosteroid or decongestant nose sprays

  • Antihistamines

If you have repeated sinus infections or nasal polyps, doctors may:

  • Do surgery

How can I prevent symptoms from year-round allergies?

If you're allergic to house dust, remove or frequently clean items that collect dust, such as:

  • Knickknacks, magazines, and books

  • Furniture covered in fabric

  • Curtains and window shades

  • Carpets

Clean your home thoroughly:

  • Dust, vacuum, and wet-mop your floors and surfaces

  • Wash your bed sheets, pillowcases, and blankets in hot water regularly

  • Treat your home with heat-steam

  • Get rid of cockroaches

Use items that help prevent dust from building up in your home, such as:

  • Mattress and pillow covers with finely woven fabrics

  • Synthetic-fiber pillows

  • Air conditioners and dehumidifiers to reduce moisture in the air

  • Vacuums and filters with the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) label

If you're allergic to animal dander:

  • Limit your family pet to certain rooms of your home

  • Keep animals, including pets, out of the house

  • Wash your pet each week

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
Others also read

Test your knowledge

Fractures of the Jaw and Midface
Fractures to one or more facial structures can result from a single injury. Jaw fractures may occur to the mandible, or lower jaw, or to the maxilla, bone of the upper jaw. Other structures susceptible to fracture include the eye sockets, nose, and cheek bones. Which of the following facial structures is most likely to fracture if a person falls from a great height or hits the windshield of a car face-first during a motor vehicle accident?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID