Posted on March 27, 2024 in 2024 April, Lifestyle and Wellness

Seasonal Allergies

by admin

As the seasons change, many people eagerly anticipate the beauty of blooming flowers and the warmth of the sun. However, for some, the arrival of spring or fall is accompanied by a less pleasant phenomenon — seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, are primarily triggered by pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. When these airborne allergens come into contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or throat, the body’s immune system may mistakenly identify them as harmful invaders, leading to an allergic reaction.

Common allergens include:

Tree Pollen: Trees such as oak, birch, maple, cedar, and pine release pollen during the spring season.

Grass Pollen: Grasses like Bermuda, Timothy, and Kentucky bluegrass produce pollen in late spring and early summer.

Weed Pollen: Ragweed is a notorious culprit for fall allergies, releasing vast amounts of pollen into the air.

The symptoms of seasonal allergies can vary in severity and may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Itchy or Watery Eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing and Sore Throat

The cost of nasal allergies is between $3 billion and $4 billion each year.

Effective Management Strategies

While it may be challenging to completely avoid exposure to seasonal allergens, several strategies can help manage and alleviate allergy symptoms:

Monitor Pollen Levels: Stay informed about daily pollen forecasts in your area. On high pollen days, consider limiting outdoor activities, especially during peak pollen times.

Keep Windows Closed: To prevent pollen from entering your home, keep windows closed during peak pollen seasons. Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to trap airborne allergens.

Practice Allergy Hygiene: After spending time outdoors, shower and change your clothes to remove pollen from your body and clothing. Don’t forget to wipe down your pets, too.

Use Nasal Irrigation: Saline nasal sprays and irrigation systems can help clear nasal passages and reduce congestion. (Click HERE to learn how to properly administer a spray.)

Over-the-Counter Medications: Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids are available over the counter and can provide relief from allergy symptoms. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new medication.

Can’t find your go-to allergy medicine lately? In September 2023, the FDA declared that the decongestant phenylephrine is ineffective as a decongestant when taken in pill form. In response, many pharmacies removed several medications including Vicks Dayquill, Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion, Sudafed PE, Vicks Sinex, and others that contain phenylephrine.

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy): For those with severe or persistent allergies, shots may be recommended. This involves gradually exposing the individual to increasing amounts of allergens to desensitize the immune system.

If symptoms persist or worsen, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is crucial for personalized and effective management. Seasonal allergies can be a challenging aspect of enjoying the great outdoors, but with proper management, individuals can significantly reduce the impact of allergic reactions on their daily lives.