updated 4/17/2008 2:48:09 PM ET 2008-04-17T18:48:09

Allergy sufferers are more likely to experience…

Depression. Turns out that suicide rates among women are twice as high during peak tree-pollen periods, one study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore reports. Women with allergies had elevated levels of cytokines, proteins that can disrupt sleep and mood. Experiencing persistent depression or insomnia? Call your doctor.

Asthma. One in four people with seasonal allergies also has asthma, with symptoms that include chest tightness and wheezing. “The allergic reaction activates inflammation elsewhere in the body, including the lungs, causing airways to narrow,” explains Philip Gallagher, M.D., an allergy and immunology specialist in Erie, Pennsylvania. Inhaled or nasal steroids can help keep both conditions under control.

Migraines. One theory posits that an allergic reaction causes inflammation that contributes to blood vessel dilation in the head — the first phase of a migraine. Migraines and sinus headaches are similar, so discuss symptoms and treatment options with your doc.

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