Allergic symptoms

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Allergic symptoms


​Allergic reactions are caused by sensitivity to an allergen. Most often allergic reactions, for instance runny nose or eye symptoms, are triggered by pollens, animal dandruff, flour or chemicals. You can relieve the symptoms with over-the-counter medication.

Allergic reactions are usually triggered by adequate exposure to the allergen. You can have allergic rhinitis-like symptoms also without an allergy (non-allergic hypersensitivity rhinitis). Hypersensitivity rhinitis symptoms may also be induced by exercise.​​​


​Allergic and hypersensitivity rhinitis cause sneezing, clear rhinorrhea, congestion or feeling of pressure in paranasal sinuses. Allergic symptoms often include also eye symptoms, i.e. your eyes may be itchy, red, and watery. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis are often seasonal, while the symptoms of hypersensitive rhinitis may come and go all year round. Some persons with allergic rhinitis may also have asthma symptoms.


​​Allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines available at pharmacies without prescription. If antihistamine is not enough to restrain your symptoms, you can add corticosteroids or nasal spray containing sodium cromoglycate to your treatment. Nasal spray can be used also by itself, ithout antihistamine medication. The same antihistamine tablets that relieve allergic rhinitis alleviate also allergic eye symptoms. Moreover, you can use also eye drops containing sodium cromoglycate to restrain the symptoms. Pharmacy staff will help you select the right product, if necessary.

Antihistamines and nasal sprays may not be effective in treating non-allergenic hypersensitivity rhinitis. If the medication helps, it can be used as a long-term treatment.​

When should you seek medical advice?

​You should seek medical advice, if

  • ​​​​​you are unable to identify the allergen causing your symptoms
  • ​​you cannot manage your symptoms by self-care

More information

The producers of the instruction

​​Emergency care professionals have produced the instruction in collaboration with Terveyskirjasto.​


Updated  1.5.2021