- Allergies can happen year-round or only during certain seasons.
- Many people mistake common allergy symptoms for symptoms of other illnesses, such as a common cold or sinus infection.
- If your skin is swollen, your nose is congested, and your eyes are itchy and watery, you may have an allergy.
- If you suspect you have an allergy, you may want to visit your doctor to receive a proper diagnosis as well as treatment options.
If you’re sniffling, itching, coughing, or feeling extra tired lately, you may be among the million of people who suffer from allergies each year.
Since many allergy-related issues can point to other ailments, it can be difficult to identify the cause of your symptoms, especially if you don’t know what to look for.
Here are some signs that you may have an allergy and not even know it.
Although these signs can be helpful to reference, if you suspect you have an allergy, you may want to see your doctor or healthcare provider to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment options.
You seem to always have a combination of frustrating symptoms, like a stuffy nose and itchy skin
Dr. Bora Kim, DO at ENT and Allergy Associates who is board-certified in allergy and immunology, told INSIDER that some people with allergies report always having a sore throat, stuffy nose, itchy skin, or headaches whereas others might have a dry cough or dyspnea (difficulty breathing) that comes and goes.
She said each symptom by itself may not signify you have an allergy but, if you are experiencing multiple symptoms at once for an extended period of time, you might want to talk to your doctor.
If your skin is irritated or your body is swollen, you may have an undiagnosed allergy
If you’re experiencing a rash that won’t go away, makes an appearance after you eat a certain food, gets worse with specific medications, or pops up after coming into physical contact with an irritant, you might have an allergy.
Dr. Purvi Parikh, allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network, told INSIDER that rashes that persist for weeks or rashes that only appear during certain seasons could be signs of an undiagnosed allergy.
Breaking out in hives or experiencing swelling in your face, hands, and other parts of your body might indicate that you have an allergy, added Dr. Kim. Reddened skin, itching, and peeling are also common signs of a skin allergy, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Itchy, watery eyes are also a common symptom of an allergy
Dr. Parikh said that one of the more common signs you have an allergy is if you have itchy, watery eyes.
If you feel like you have a sinus infection or cold that won’t go away, you could actually be experiencing allergies
If you have what feels like a sinus infection or a head cold that just won’t go away with medication and antibiotics, Dr. Payam Daneshrad of Daneshrad Clinic ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery said you may actually be experiencing really bad allergies.
Dr. Kim also said some people with allergies also tend “to complain of recurrent upper respiratory infections,” especially during certain seasons.
Feeling tired and irritable could also be a sign you have an allergy
Dr. Daneshrad said fatigue, loss of concentration, and general irritability can all be signs of allergies.
If you seem to only experience symptoms when you enter a certain building, you may have some indoor allergies
Daneshrad said if you seem to have symptoms that recur any time you enter a specific building or home, you may be experiencing allergies to molds or dust.
Dr. Lakiea Wright, a board-certified physician in internal medicine and allergy and immunology and practicing physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, told INSIDER that animals, mold, and dust mites are common triggers of allergies — and they can all be encountered while indoors.
You may have seasonal allergies if you only seem to experience allergy-like symptoms around the same time each year
Dr. Daneshrad told INSIDER that if your allergy-like symptoms seem to recur during the same months or seasons each year, you may have seasonal allergies.
Some of these symptoms include a sore throat, a runny nose, and itchy eyes.