How Long Does an Allergic Reaction Last?

Sep 29, 2021

How Long Does an Allergic Reaction Last?

6 minute read

If you’re an allergy sufferer, we don’t have to tell you how frustrating it can be. But if it helps, know that you’re not alone. In fact, more than 50 million runny noses experience some form of allergies each year.

While many allergic reactions to things like pollen or dust mites are nothing more than the annoying sniffle, others can lead to rashes, hives, or serious conditions that can affect your ability to breathe. Those don’t sound like fun, and we hope you never have to experience them. But if you do, how long will it last?

Allergic reactions affect everyone differently, and different allergens can have different effects. Let’s find out how long a typical allergic reaction to some common allergens lasts.

What Is an Allergic Reaction?

Things like pollen, dust mites, or ragweed aren’t harmful to most people. However, in some of the population, they can cause an allergic reaction.

Your immune system creates antibodies to fight back against unknown invaders, such as viruses or bacteria. However, the immune system gets a bit confused and identifies harmless substances as enemies in some people. When this happens, your body tries to dispose of it through defense mechanisms like sneezing, runny nose, inflamed sinuses, hives, or rashes.

People who get sniffles, itchy eyes, or tickly throat from pollen suffer from something called allergic rhinitis.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

Allergies are a tricky bodily function because they look so different among everyone. While some people only experience mild symptoms like a stuffy nose or itchy eyes, others might have more severe reactions that require medical attention.

Typical symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Itching
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing

How Long Will an Allergic Reaction Last?

The amount of time that an allergic reaction lasts is different for everyone. Some people might see a reduction in symptoms in just a few hours, while others will still have rashes or coughs for days.

If the allergen is caused by something seasonal like pollen, then the symptoms might persist for the entire season.

Just because allergic reactions can be a pain for longer than you’d want, it doesn’t mean you need to sit there and suffer. There are some great ways to find relief to reduce the symptoms and shorten your reaction.

Managing Allergic Reactions

The next time your immune system lets its defenses down and allows a pollen or a dust mite to give you hives, there are some ways you can find relief pretty quick.

For Allergic Rhinitis

It’s funny how the air we breathe is legitimately essential for us to survive, yet at the same time, the tiny particles floating around in it are enough to make you never want to breathe again. If things like indoor, outdoor, seasonal, or pet allergies make your nose run and your eyes itch, there are some great ways to get immediate relief.

The most popular and one of the most effective methods is antihistamines. They’re tiny pills that block the hormone histamine from forming, which is the thing that makes you sneeze and cough to begin with. You can get all your favorite allergy pills at a super low price from Cleared.

If allergies clog up your nose and make it hard to breathe, you might want to use some nasal spray. These go right into your nostrils and help decrease discomfort when allergies strike. We’ve got your favorite nasal sprays too -- just mosey on over here.

Can You Prevent Allergic Reactions?

The only real way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the allergen in totality. For people with food allergies, this usually isn’t too difficult. But for those with seasonal allergies or dust mite allergies, it’s almost impossible to avoid exposure to the air.

But breathing is believing, and there’s finally relief in sight. Sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, is an FDA-approved method that reduces the underlying causes of allergies rather than just treating its symptoms. Essentially, it can actually make you more tolerant of the allergens themselves.

SLIT reduces allergy symptoms by an average of 27.6% and medication use by 46.1%. It can save you time, money, and discomfort down the line. If you think SLIT might be IT, click here to start a free allergy consultation.

In Conclusion

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system wrongfully attacks harmless substances as if they’re harmful. The end result is sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, or even narrowed airways.

The severity of allergic reactions varies from person to person, and the length they last vary too. Some people’s reactions might last a few hours, while others might last a few days. And if your allergies are seasonal, symptoms might persist for the entire season.

The good news is that you can be cleared in no time with allergy relief medications or science-backed therapies like SLIT.


Allergy Facts | Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Allergies - Symptoms and causes | The Mayo Clinic

Allergic rhinitis | MedlinePlus

How to Use An EpiPen | Nationwide Children's


Dr. Payel Gupta

Medically reviewed by Dr. Payel Gupta



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