Spring is by far the worst time of the year for allergy sufferers. This is the time of the year when trees starting blooming and floral pollen fills the air. If you have allergies (or even just seasonal allergies), then you may notice you start to sneeze more, have watery eyes or even feel run down this time of year. It is estimated that about 58 million people fall victim to their allergies – and most of those individuals report serious cases of hay fever.
Unfortunately, there is no magical cure and there is no one-size-fits-all cure. This is because everyone has different allergies and combating those allergies comes down to identifying your triggers and the type of allergies you suffer from and experience.
Why Do I Have Spring Time Allergies Anyway?
Most people suffer from spring allergies because of the pollen in the air. These tiny grains are released into the air and come from grass, flowers, trees, and even weeds. It is their way to fertilize each other and grow, but it wreaks havoc on your body’s systems. As the small grains of pollen make their way into your nasal cavity, they can force your immune system to create an unpleasant response.
This is becauseyour body’s immune system mistakes pollen as some type of dangerous invader, so it releases antibodies to help defend it. Antibodies are your body’s natural response and defense; they can help combat everything from bacteria to viruses and other illness-forming particles.
As the antibodies go to work on the allergens, they release chemicals known as histamines. Histamines are what cause your allergy symptoms, including the runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, and even the cough.
Pollen doesn’t have to be in your backyard to irritate your allergies either. In fact, allergens can travel for miles, which means even if you cleared your yard of potential allergens, they would still find you someway. To see what the pollen count is in your area, you can check the daily pollen reports that are on weather sites as well as the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
You may notice that your allergies are worse on the days when the breeze has kicked up. Rainy days can also bring out allergies if you are allergic to molds. But, for pollen sufferers, rainy days will most likely bring relief because they wash away the pollen.
Also Read : Make an Allergy Relief Kit at Home
Understanding the Common Symptoms of Spring Allergies
Allergies can vary by season. So, if you suffer from spring allergies, then you may experience symptoms that include, but are not limited to:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy nose
- Dark circles or bags around the eyes
- Dry mouth
- Extreme fatigue
If you have asthma, then you may notice that the allergens cause your asthma to kick into higher gear, making it harder to breathe. You may even have to use your prescribed inhaler more often just to find relief.
Are You Diagnosed with Spring Allergies Yet?
If you think you have spring allergies, but haven’t been officially diagnosed, now is the time to go see a specialist. But, do not rely on your family doctor. While they are excellent diagnosticians, the best diagnostics for allergies come from ear, nose, and throat specialists. These types of physicians can do a specialized test to see if you are allergic, and pinpoint which spring time allergens are causing your symptoms.
Treatment Options for Spring Allergies
Once your ENT has determined what spring allergens you are allergic to, they will then decide how to treat them. Not all allergies need medications or even extensive allergy treatments. At first, you may be prescribed nasal sprays and antihistamines to reduce sneezing, itching, and sniffing since these help lower the amount of histamines in your blood.
If you have blocked nasal passages, then you may also be prescribed a decongestant or told which over-the-counter medication works best for your congestion and swelling. These can raise your blood pressure, so you will want to make sure that you are healthy enough to take these. To get the best results from a decongestant, you need to combine them with antihistamines and a steroid nasal spray.
Eye drops may be prescribed if you end up suffering from itchy, watery or extremely dry eyes. Your ENT can suggest which type of eye drops is best considering your situation.
While you could easily just go to the local pharmacy and pick up all of these items, consult with your ENT to see what is best for you. Not all over-the-counter treatments can help with seasonal allergies and depending on the type of allergen that is irritating your immune system, you may need something that is prescription-strength.
Tips for Managing Your Spring Allergies
You cannot avoid allergies completely, but there are things you can do to limit how much they bother your body. Some things you can do to avoid those allergen triggers include:
- Staying indoors when the pollen counts are high, especially during peak pollen times of the day.
- Keep the doors and windows of your house locked during the spring months to keep those allergens from entering your home.
- Clean all air filters in your home’s furnace and AC system regularly. If you have an air purification system (and you should), clean out the filters on that as often as it is recommended by the product’s manufacturer.
- After going outside, wash your hair thoroughly to remove any allergens.
- Vacuum your house and sweep at least twice a week to pick up any allergens that have been tracked inside.
- Make sure to take your shoes off in the garage or in your mud room rather than track the allergens throughout the house.
Spring Allergies for Children
Children can suffer from allergies just as much as adults—sometimes even worse. If your child has chronic spring allergies, speak with your doctor about what prescription medications you can use to help relieve his or her symptoms.
Also Read : Do Allergies Disappear with Age?
Got Spring Allergies That Are Out of Control? Consult Dr. Light Today
Dr. Light has helped countless patients overcome their spring allergies. From finding relief from frequent sinus infections to performing immunotherapy to help reduce how allergens impact your body, Dr. Light may be able to help you look forward to spring rather than dread it.
Contact Dr. Light’s office today for a no-obligation consultation for your spring-time allergies. Call us at 561-737-8584.