Seasonal Allergy and Bronchitis: What Is the Connection?

Updated on April 4, 2019
john000 profile image

John was a Navy hospital corpsman. He worked the general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.

Pollen May Be the Guilty Party

Seasonal bronchitis from outdoor pollen can also be referred to as pollen bronchitis.
Seasonal bronchitis from outdoor pollen can also be referred to as pollen bronchitis. | Source

Allergies at My Age?

My suspicion is that many seniors experience what I have experienced. You wake up one morning with your sinuses clogged and feeling like you are coming down with a cold. You write it off as having come in contact with coughing, sneezing people at a supermarket or you blame it on your grandchildren who seem to have always caught something at school.

For years this was what passed through my mind in the fall. I knew that if it persisted for a couple weeks I would no doubt have bronchitis. Then there would be the visit to the primary care physician who would prescribe an antibiotic. It seemed that at 65 years of age my number had come up. Yearly upper respiratory infections were to be my lot in life hence forth.

In laymen's terms, acute bronchitis is referred to as a chest cold.


  • coughing up mucus
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • chest discomfort

Not So Quick

Upon one visit to the doctor's office the physician asked if I was getting these severe chest problems at the same time each year. I told her that it was always in the fall. That seemed to be all she needed to hear.

She diagnosed me as having seasonal allergies. With the fall rains in Arizona and the blossoming of all the desert plants, something was causing me inflammation. She told me that I should take an antihistamine as soon as I noticed inflammation in my throat or chest. Graciously giving me 3 sample antihistamines, she said to try them and see what worked best.

According to her, it was not uncommon for a person to experience allergies later in life. I had been an outdoors person all my life and never had a problem. It had been a point of pride not to have had itchy, water eyes, a rough throat, or a burning chest as had so many of my friends. But age can apparently change all of that.

English: Figure A shows the location of the lungs and bronchial tubes in the body. Figure B is an enlarged, detailed view of a normal bronchial tube. Figure C is an enlarged, detailed view of a bronchial tube with bronchitis. The tube is inflamed and
English: Figure A shows the location of the lungs and bronchial tubes in the body. Figure B is an enlarged, detailed view of a normal bronchial tube. Figure C is an enlarged, detailed view of a bronchial tube with bronchitis. The tube is inflamed and | Source

You Aren't the Only One

More than 50 million people experience signs of allergies each year. I was shocked to hear I had allergies, but at the same time, it's nice to have a cause and a direction for remedying the problem, especially since I love to be outside. Treatment and prevention are the way to deal with this muddle.

What To Do

Yes, you were spared the same fate as all those folks who are allergic to pets, but there is some kind of allergen in the air in the fall that is distressing you. I still don't know what allergy I have, but I don't need to. These are the steps to dealing with it.

  1. Avoid the allergens (if symptoms occur outside)
  2. Take allergy medication
  3. Immunotherapy can help (allergy shots)

Pesky Allergens

Allergens cause the production of substances known as histamines. It is histamine that causes itching, swelling, cough, and inflammation that you experience with an anaphylactic reaction, or allergy. Nobody knows for sure the ins and outs of allergy, but chemicals called antihistamines block the histamine from causing us so much trouble. As the 6th most frequent cause of illness in the United States it costs us a total $18 billion dollars per year.


The doc gave me samples of three different antihistamines. One of them worked great, Zyrtec. You should never take a medication without checking with your doctor as medications can interact with others, and as old folks we often take multiple medicines. At this point let me suggest a medication that will save you a lot of money. It is the generic form of Zyrtec. But, of course, run this by your doctor first.

Shopping at Walmart I discovered Major All Day Allergy 24Hr Tab Cetirizine Hcl-10 Mg White 14 Tablets for only 88 cents. If you have purchased Zyrtec, you know this is a deal.

Citirizine HCL - generic Zyrtec, at time of publication, $0.88 for a 14 count box at Walmart
Citirizine HCL - generic Zyrtec, at time of publication, $0.88 for a 14 count box at Walmart | Source

Adult Onset Allergy

At nearly 70, what turned out to be adult allergy is a mystery. However at my age, I have had enough friends pass away or be debilitated from a number of illnesses we all dread to hear about, so I am more than happy to take one pill a day so I can enjoy the outdoors.

I know from experience that a burny chest, cough or nasal drip can severely impact my sleep. The symptoms of nasal congestion, sinus headache, and sore nose can make sleeping difficult. Losing sleep when you acquire a certain age is not a fun thing to deal with.

A nice thing about cetirizine HCL is it doesn't cause drowsiness while you need to be alert, a side effect of other antihistamines. It is also longer acting than benadryl, another favorite over-the-counter medicine that is shorter acting and can cause drowsiness.

Natural Treatment

Eventual Possible Infection

Although infection is not the reason or cause of bronchitis, it is seen to aid in sustaining the bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is one of the most common diseases. About 5% of adults are affected.

An acute case of bronchitis can last from a couple weeks to at most a couple months. If it lasts longer, you may have chronic bronchitis. This is a more serious condition and you should see the doctor.

While each person may have differences in how drugs affect them, I am including my experience with antibiotics in the treatment of bronchitis. Certainly it is most important to speak to a physician about the use of antibiotics, but mentioning my observation may help you save a little time in successfully treating bronchitis. It is worth a note. So, don't wait more than 2 weeks to see a doctor if it appears to be seasonal allergy related. It may be pollen that is inflaming your bronchial tubes.

Erythromycin, Doxycycline, and Azithromycin are the drugs I have been prescribed. Of the three, Azithromycin worked the best. The bronchitis was always gone after the prescribed period of treatment. It comes in a prepackaged daily dose called a Z pack.


Perhaps the most important element to successfully curing yourself of pollen bronchitis is to get ample rest. Get away from the outside air, and try over the counter antihistamines. Cough syrup and mucus tablets can help to loosen phlegm. I have found that cough drops can sooth your throat, which I find improves rest. Beyond two weeks with a "chest cold" make sure you see a practitioner.


aafa (1995 to 2019). Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergy Facts and FIgures. Retrieved March 26, 2018 from,

Donovan, John (1995 - 2019). Adult-Onset Allergies. Retrieved March 24, 2019 from,

WebMD staff (2005-2019). Do I Need Antihistamines for Allergies? Retrieved March 23, 2019 from,

No author stated, Wikipedia (30 March 2019). Bronchitis. Retrieved March 27, 2019, from

WebMD staff (2005 - 2019). Asthmatic Bronchitis. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from

Fisher, Keith MD (4 April 2018). How Long Do Symptoms Of Bronchitis Last? Retrieved March 29, 2019, from

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 John R Wilsdon


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • john000 profile imageAUTHOR

        John R Wilsdon 

        5 months ago from Superior, Arizona

        Thanks, Pamela for your positive comments on the pollen bronchitis hub. We both know how disappointing it can be when it strikes. Sunny Florida and Sunny Arizona have plenty of blossoms! After our winter rains and now the warm up we have gorgeous flowers everywhere - and stuffy noses! Be well.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 months ago from Sunny Florida

        When the pollen count is high in the spring I have all the symptoms you listed, and I often end up with bronchitis as well. You did a great job of listed all the symptoms and the probable treatments for this problem.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)