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Coping with seasonal allergies

Published on April 6, 2022 at 13:26

Although allergies are more common in the spring, they can occur year-round, both indoors and outdoors.

What is an allergic reaction?

When our immune system reacts to a substance that it perceives as harmful to the body, it is called an allergic reaction. During the allergic reaction, the body emits chemical compounds of which most known is histamine, often in abundance.

It is responsible for most symptoms, such as runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat and nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes and stinging. An antihistamine medication can relieve these symptoms—and several medications are available with or without a prescription.

One of these is Reactine®. It contains an antihistamine that quickly relieves symptoms of indoor and outdoor allergies for up to 24 hours. This anti-allergy medication contains cetirizine that blocks the secretion of histamine, which is responsible for allergic reactions.

Allergy triggers

What are the common allergy triggers, whether they are annual (indoor allergens) or seasonal (outdoor allergens)? It is important to know how to recognize them in order to better avoid them.

External allergens

Hay fever

The most common seasonal allergy, is triggered by pollen. When spring arrives, trees, weeds and grasses release pollen. Ragweed is the main allergen responsible for hay fever. This invasive plant grows from May to October. Every year, ragweed eradication campaigns are launched in several Québec municipalities. It should not be confused with poison ivy which, with its oily sap, can cause a severe skin reaction. Poison ivy has nothing to do with the respiratory symptoms caused by the pollen.

Indoor allergens

Animal dander

Pets are a source of allergies. Yes, cats and dogs, our charming little buddies, can also cause allergic reactions via their hair, saliva and urine. Sensitive people can develop redness on the skin, itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and even breathing difficulties in more serious cases.

Dust mites

These are microscopic, little bugs that live in dust, hair, and miniature skin debris (scales). Allergies to dust mites can result in rhinitis, hives and eczema. They are often responsible for asthma in children. Dust mites are also found in heating equipment and, if dusty, can cause reactions, such as headaches when the house is heated.


Also known as fungi, mold spreads by tiny airborne spores. It is often found in damp areas, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements. On small surfaces, you can easily clean it up. But if it accumulates, susceptible people may experience symptoms, including nose, throat and eye irritation, runny nose, sinus congestion, cough, chronic fatigue and headaches. More severe symptoms will affect breathing and even trigger asthma attacks.

How should you deal with allergens?

As a starting point, there are a few things that can be done. To get rid of dust mites, it is essential to wash sheets in very hot water once a week and dry them in the machine. Hypo allergenic covers are also available. Avoid feather pillows, if possible.

The house should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or a double-wall bag. Avoid having carpets and rugs in the house and limit the use of fabric cushions and curtains.

To prevent mold, properly ventilate the bathroom when bathing and showering. Do the same in the kitchen when cooking food. In case of damage and water infiltration in a room, clean and dry quickly within 24 to 48 hours. In general, the use of a dehumidifier or air conditioner is recommended to maintain low humidity levels.

The relief provided by Reactine®

Reactine Extra strength

Reactine products®  are non-prescription antihistamines used for seasonal and recurring allergies. They are sold in various forms, including capsules and tablets. They are fast-acting and provide long-lasting relief. For more severe allergy symptoms, such as asthma, you should consult a doctor. Pharmacists are here to help you choose the Reactine product® that could be right for you.

For more information on seasonal allergies, we invite you to consult our free guide.

PSST - Seasonal allergies

Consult the guide

This article is written by Familiprix, in collaboration with Reactine® and Vie de Parents.

The drugs and pharmaceutical services featured on the website are offered by pharmacists who own the affiliated pharmacies at Familiprix. The information contained on the site is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace the advice and advice of your pharmacist or any other health professional. Always consult a health professional before taking or discontinuing medication or making any other decision. Familiprix inc. and the proprietary pharmacists affiliated with Familiprix do not engage in any way by making this information available on this website.