Allergies Treatments Seasonal Relief

For many people, seasonal allergies and their symptoms are a predictable part of each new time of year. While others look forward to the cherry tree blossoms of spring or the brilliant hues of fall foliage, allergy sufferers must deal with allergies instead.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

As new plant species begin to bloom, the pollen count in the air increases daily. Similarly, the intensity of your seasonal allergy symptoms may increase as well. First you may notice a tingling in your throat or slightly itchy eyes. Within a few days you’ll be experience the trademark symptoms of seasonal allergies, which are:

  • congestion
  • dry, scratchy throat
  • fatigue and restlessness
  • red, itchy eyes
  • runny nose
  • sneezing.

If you take the time to plan for your seasonal allergies before the first symptoms strike, you have a good chance of reducing their severity.

Season-by-Season: What to Expect

Seasonal allergies are at their worst during the spring, summer, and fall. These seasons are the primary time for growth and pollination of most plant life. Take note of when your symptoms are the worst, and let your doctor know. He or she will help you determine which allergens are triggering your seasonal allergies. Once you know the cause, you can take steps to lower your seasonal allergies.

The first culprits of spring are usually the trees:

  • Alder
  • Birch
  • Elm
  • Juniper
  • Maple
  • Oak.

As the heat increases, these summer triggers begin to pollinate:

  • flowers
  • grasses
  • weeds.

One of the heaviest hitters waits until early fall to begin its assault on your sinuses-ragweed. Ragweed is an intense allergen, and even people who claim they do not suffer from seasonal allergies will find themselves with itchy eyes and a runny nose during ragweed season.

Something in the Air

One way to stay ahead of the game is to know when your trigger plants are about to pollinate. Meteorologists often include pollen counts in the forecasts. Look at the local news or weather Web sites for your area.

First and foremost, take steps to avoid the allergens that trigger your seasonal allergies. If grass pollen is a problem for you, consider hiring someone (maybe the neighbor’s kid) to mow your lawn. Perhaps tree pollen is your problem? Try driving with the windows up and the A/C on during the tree pollen season. You may even want to wear a paper medical mask if you have to spend time outdoors during heavy pollen days. Try to spend as much time as possible in a climate-controlled environment.

Taking a Stab at Treatment

Limiting your exposure to your triggers will greatly reduce your symptoms. Another method of lowering your seasonal allergies is to build up your body’s tolerance to certain triggers. Immunotherapy treatment consists of your allergist administering shots that contain a small dose of the pollen that triggers your allergy. As your body becomes inured to the trigger, the dose is increased. Eventually, everyday exposure to allergens will not set off your seasonal allergies.

There isn’t a magical cure for seasonal allergies. Lowering seasonal allergies takes work, but it is possible. If you are proactive you’ll be able to reduce your symptoms and alleviate your allergy symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I always have allergies?

A: Your body’s chemistry does change over time. It is likely that as you age your allergies will change. Schedule allergy testing with your doctor ever five years or so.

Q: I moved from California to Vermont last year, and now I seem to have allergies. Am I allergic to New England?

A: No, but you may be allergic to a particular plant species that did not grow in California.

Q: Are seasonal allergies dangerous?

A: Generally, no. But you should visit your doctor and talk about your allergies. If you have seasonal allergies, you may also be allergic to certain foods or bee stings that could cause anaphylaxis (which can be dangerous).

Resources

Boucher, C. (2003). Relieve allergies the natural way. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from the WebMD Web site: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/relieve-allergies-natural- way.

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library Staff. (2009). Seasonal allergies. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from the Merck Online Web site: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec16/ch185/ch185b.html.

PDR Health Staff. (2009). Seasonal allergies. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from the PDR Health Web site: http://www.pdrhealth.com/disease/disease-mono.aspx? contentFileName=BHG01AL10.xml