It is estimated that more than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies with 30 percent of that group being adults, and 40 percent being children. In fact, the cost of dealing with allergies is more than $18 billion, and food allergies cost even more at $25 billion.
But one question people often have is what exactly is an allergy.
In simple terms, an allergy is your body’s reaction to something foreign known as an allergen. These allergens are numerous, and could be related to food you ate, something you inhaled, something you touched, or something that was injected into your body such as medicine or even an insect sting.
Pollen, however, is a common trigger for allergies. Let’s dive into why pollen is so harmful for millions of people.
Defining Pollen Allergies
Allergies that are triggered by pollen are known as seasonal allergies, because pollen is most plentiful during the spring months.
Pollen is created when plants release small pollen grains that fertilize other plants. After plants create pollen, it is carried by the wind in the form of small, dry pollen grains that land on weeds, trees and grasses.
The problem is that millions of people have an adverse reaction when they touch, inhale or otherwise allow pollen into their bodies. In fact, some of the common symptoms of pollen allergies include:
- Itchy/Watery Eyes
- Runny Nose
- Excess Nasal Congestion
- Swollen Eyes
When you experience these symptoms during the spring months, you should visit an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who can diagnose pollen allergies by either performing a skin prick test or a blood test.
With a skin prick test, a doctor will prick your skin and add a sample of an allergen to determine if that triggers an adverse reaction such as swelling or itching. With a blood test, doctors take a sample of your blood and a lab adds different allergens to that sample to see how many antibodies your blood produces to fight the allergen.
To improve your allergy symptoms during the spring, you should keep track of the outdoor pollen count, take over-the-counter or prescription medication to control your reaction, and invest in an air-cleaner to remove allergens from the air where you live.
Stop Fighting Through Allergy Season
Like millions of people, you probably dread the approach of allergy season, but you sort of grin and bear it and go through three months of itchy, watery eyes, congestion, sinus headaches, and endless sneezing because you think there’s no other way. But for many people who suffer from allergies, there can be relief in the form of allergy injections and other solutions that could make their lives a lot better. If you are tired of waging war with your allergies, it’s time to change things up. Please call our office today at 561-737-8584 to schedule an appointment.