Selected store: 
Earn $7 rewards
on $30+ select allergy relief items
Allergy 101
  • Nearly 1 in 3 adults
    face some type of allergy—whether that's seasonal or an allergy to food, pet dander and more.

    Source: WebMD

  • The most common allergy triggers
    are pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, latex, and certain food and medications.

    Source: 2015 Harris Poll

  • Allergic conditions
    are the most common health issues affecting children in the U.S.

    Source: CDC. Healthy Schools. Food Allergies in Schools

Shop with OTC benefits card online
An easier way to shop and use your health benefits towards eligible products ›
  • We have the expert advice you need to feel better. Get answers.

Q&A: Allergy & Sinus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 50 million people suffer from some form of allergies. If you're one of them or believe that you might be, we can provide answers to your questions about what allergies are, what causes them and what you can do to alleviate troublesome symptoms.

  • Unfortunately, you can't predict how long allergy symptoms will persist. Allergies happen when your immune system reacts to a substance called an allergen that it mistakes as a threat. In reaction, your body releases chemicals that trigger symptoms. Your body will continue to release these chemicals while you are exposed to the allergen, and your symptoms will continue until then. That's why people who develop hay fever allergies due to pollen in the air outside can experience symptoms for weeks or even months at a time.

  • The only way to know for sure if a symptom like a rash or sneezing is caused by allergies is to visit a doctor. Medical specialists called allergists can determine whether or not you have allergies through skin and blood tests. Your primary physician can recommend an allergist for you.

  • People who have reactions when they eat food that contains gluten technically do not have an allergy, although the symptoms that occur are caused by the immune system. Symptoms of gluten intolerance or sensitivity include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone and joint pain and fatigue. If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor for blood testing to diagnose the problem.

  • The best thing to do for allergies is to avoid whatever triggers them as much as possible. Of course, it can be impossible to stay away from pollen, dust and many other common allergens. Your doctor can recommend allergy medicine and other treatments to help you manage symptoms.

  • Symptoms of an allergy vary based on the type of reaction that you are having.

  • Unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies. Avoiding allergens as much as possible can help you reduce the frequency of symptoms. Treatments recommended by your doctor can help reduce the severity of symptoms when you're not able to avoid allergens.

  • Stopping allergy symptoms involves avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms and using a remedy recommended by your doctor to manage symptoms when they do occur. There are no treatments available to stop or completely cure allergies.

  • There are a number of ways that you can get relief from allergy symptoms.

    If they do not provide enough relief, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. Your doctor may also recommend allergy shots to make your body less sensitive to allergens.

  • There are a number of ways to tell the difference between allergies and a cold:

  • Allergies typically do not cause a fever. Nasal congestion, sneezing and headaches accompanied by a fever are more likely to be due to a cold.

  • A sore throat is not a primary symptom of allergies; however, if your nasal passages are congested, mucus may drip down into your throat, causing irritation and discomfort. If your only symptom is a sore throat, allergies are unlikely to be the culprit.

  • Yes, many people feel fatigued while experiencing allergy symptoms. Some medications used to treat symptoms of allergies can also cause drowsiness.

  • Both food and environmental allergies can trigger coughing. If your cough is accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pain, you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately, as you might be having a dangerous allergic reaction.

  • Yes, it's possible to experience headaches with allergies. Pressure caused by nasal congestion is usually found in the sinus area. Research also shows that allergies can cause migraine headaches, one-sided head pain that grows worse in sunlight and often causes nausea.

  • Dizziness is more commonly associated with food allergies than environmental allergies; however, feeling dizzy or unsteady on your feet can develop with any allergic reaction.

* Restrictions apply. See for more information.