The cottonwood is blowing through our neighbourhood. The fluffy little seeds are gathering at the curb side like snow drifts and, after the winter we just had, I don’t need that visual again.

While the blowing seeds, buzzing bees, and exploding blooms triumphantly announce spring has arrived in Canada – and is blasting right into summer – so to comes allergy season. Those little cottonwood seeds, pollen pods and other allergens are floating along the breeze and not everyone is happy about it.

About 1/4 of Canadians are affected by allergic rhinits (seasonal allergies) and, depending on what you’re allergic to, the symptoms can start in early spring and last right through to the first frost of fall.


A changing climate is also affecting allergy season by making it longer. Aerobiology Research has produced data showing birch pollen season in Toronto is 60 days longer than 2006, Montreal’s pine pollen season is 36 days longer, while grass pollen season in New Brunswick is 24 days longer, and cedar pollen season in Saskatchewan has been stretched by 81 extra days.

That’s a long time to be fighting allergy symptoms. But which medication is best?

Aisle anxiety is real. Different symptoms can require different medications to bring relief, but with an aisle of options, confusion can set in.


Consulting your pharmacist is the first-line of defense against allergies. They can help you determine what is causing your allergies, they can assess your symptoms, and recommend the most appropriate treatment. They may start by recommending over-the-counter medications or, if appropriate, your pharmacist can write a prescription for medication (in all provinces of Canada outside BC and Ontario).

You don’t need to live with allergies – you can blast back the symptoms with some help from a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist. Simply submit a question you’d like me to ask a pharmacist and you’ll be entered to win a $150 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card to get the meds that are right for you and the allergy medications you need to celebrate summer.

Check out the details below:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions: Draw open to residents of Canada outside Quebec only. 1 winner will be chosen at random from all entries to win a $150 gift card for Shoppers Drug Mart. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Do not use contest-only social media accounts. Genuine entries with legitimate questions only will be considered valid. A selection of questions will be used in a subsequent post featuring a Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist. 

This post is sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart

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  1. Heather Swanson May 28, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Can you out grow an allergy?

  2. jan May 28, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Since my allergies are so on and off and don’t always last all day I do not like to take any allergy meds on a regular basis. Are the OTC meds that only last for 4 hours rather than all of the long lasting ones?

  3. Doris Humber May 28, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    How quickly can allergies develop? What’s a good medication for light symptoms.?
    I tend to get a stuffy runny nose sometimes and I’m not quite sure what I should be taking.

  4. Joni May 28, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Can you outgrow allergies

  5. Calvin May 28, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Why do some allergy medication don’t work as well for different people? Especially the seasonal hay fever anti histamines

  6. Elizabeth Vlug May 29, 2018 at 3:45 am

    I have noticed that my eyes watered a lot when I am outside gardening. Is it necessary to get tested for allergies before starting a medication? What are the most common outdoor allergies?

  7. Jenness M May 29, 2018 at 5:24 am

    I’d ask why my allergies are getting worse as I age.

  8. Elena May 29, 2018 at 6:28 am

    I’d like to know which allergy medication has the least side effects and is most effective.

  9. Alison Braidwood May 29, 2018 at 6:56 am

    I’d like to know what they would suggest for someone who is chronically stuffed up. No known allergies, but with a permanent snuffle.

  10. Maritess S May 29, 2018 at 8:00 am

    I have Spring season allergy. Is there a one dose/shot medication that will cover me for the entire season. I would love to do outdoor activities without worrying about medications.

  11. Cathy Brown May 29, 2018 at 8:19 am

    Which is the easiest allergy medication on my stomach?

  12. Linda H May 29, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Is it common for an older person to develop new allergies.

  13. Travelbuds May 29, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Are there certain foods that can make allergies worse?

  14. Heather Sibley May 29, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I would like to know a better solution for dry eyes than Visine. Allergy season kills my eyes.

  15. Lisa May 30, 2018 at 8:54 am

    I’d love to ask how to be prepared in case my 7-year-old reacts to something for the first time

  16. Theresa A. May 30, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Is it true that when purchasing Life brand allergy relief products they can be returned for a full refund if you find they are not effective? Sometimes I buy products only to discover something else relieves my symptoms better. But with other brands I am stuck with the unused item.

  17. Jaimeem May 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I’d like to know the best and most financially sound solution to help with allergies

  18. Wanda Tracey May 30, 2018 at 4:26 pm

    What is the best medication that you know of for sinus pain? Sometimes it is unbearable even after trying different things.

  19. Lisa Lee May 30, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Is it possible to eventually wean myself from having to take allergy medications…? For example, are there any lifestyle changes that can to help me better manage my allergies more naturally?

  20. kristen visser May 30, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I get a pretty bad cough from time to time. One where my throat becomes scratchy and once i start coughing i cannot stop. It especially happens at night and becomes really exhausting and my body feels drained. My mother in law seems to think it is allergy related but I do not have any other symptoms other then this cough. could it be allergies? as far as i know i do not have allergies but have never been tested

  21. Lushka Smith May 30, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    My friend has some spring allergies but it really seems to flare up on the golf course. We are wondering if it could be related to the chemicals they use to keep things green.

  22. Paul May 30, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I would ask when should I introduce my child to allergens to ensure he is not allergic? How would I gage how severe the allergy is.

  23. ivy pluchinsky May 31, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I would like to know if an air purifier would help with my allergies and asthma.

  24. Janet Meisner May 31, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Although I have tested positive for an allergy I do have the symptoms in the Spring. Is it safe to take allergy medicine?

  25. Louise Smith May 31, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Is taking allergy medication for a long period of time harmful?

  26. Sarah May 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    What would they suggest for someone who experiences mild to moderate hive breakouts periodically?

  27. MaryG June 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Can you out grow an allergy?

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