Allergies are caused by allergens (pollens, weeds, chemical exposures, etc) sometimes stimulate the immune system to react, leading to symptoms like watery or itchy eyes, headaches, sneezing, nasal congestion or runny nose, and a sore throat. Allergic substances range from environmental exposures to chemical pollutants. Even tobacco exposure can contribute to nasal congestion. To treat allergies, most people need to reduce exposure to the allergen and/or take medications. Most medications including antihistamines, nasal decongestant or steroid sprays can be very effective in controlling the allergy symptoms. In some cases, allergy shots or drops (immunotherapy) may be needed to build up the body’s immune response to the allergen over time. Click here to learn more about immunotherapy and treating your allergies.