Are you Ready for Seasonal Allergy Time?
Spring is the season to enjoy blossoming flowers and lovely weather. It is also a prime time for bothersome symptoms. It’s allergy season, when you have a runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. Such seasonal allergy symptoms put you together with over 50 million Americans who suffer from the condition annually.
An allergy is a chronic disease, one that often occurs or lasts over an extended period. Conditions like hay fever and allergic rhinitis are alternative names for allergies. The symptoms of allergies vary, from mild to severe to life-threatening – like anaphylaxis.
What Causes Allergies?
An allergy is a reaction that occurs due to an overreaction by your body’s immune system to any substance it perceives as harmful. Substances that trigger allergies are called allergens. When you expose your body to allergens, it produces immunoglobulin and histamines or leukotriens that react to protect your body from the perceived attack. Allergens can be very specific to each area and each person who experiences that specific allergen.
The reactions manifest as sneezing, itchy eyes, hoarse voice, and hives. Seasonal allergies include your body’s reaction to pollen from plants and trees when the wind strews it.
Common allergens include:
- Some types of medications
However, pollen, especially from ragweed and mold, is the chief cause of seasonal allergies. Mold increases in heavy vegetation, straw, and hay after rains. Ragweed is a prolific pollen producer giving close to a billion pollen grains that the wind scatters to a radius of about 400 miles.
Controlling Seasonal Allergies Symptoms
First of all, your doctor has to analyze your symptoms to confirm whether it’s an allergy. He does so through physical tests and going through your medical and personal history. He then advises you on the best way to manage the condition, since it is a chronic disease requiring long-term care.
The best way to manage the condition is:
- Treatment with medicine
- Avoiding exposing yourself to allergens
If you need medical attention, give your doctor or pharmacist a detailed history of your health background. Once you establish when the allergy season will begin, you should take medication early enough before the symptoms start.
Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice in which extremely dilute amounts of certain natural substances are used to treat various ailments.
Some common remedies that are used for allergies are:
You can google more about homeopathy, which remedy is best for you (depending upon your individual symptoms) and how to take them.
You may choose over-the-counter drugs or get a medical prescription from a doctor. The types of medication used to manage symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Nasal Spray – It eases symptoms with no dangerous side effects, but you should use it before symptoms commence for optimum results
- Decongestants – These exist as nasal sprays and oral decongestants. They alleviate nasal stuffiness, but they should be used for several consecutive days only. Prolonged use leads to rebound congestion that worsens the symptoms.
- Oral Antihistamines – These relieve watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, and itching.
- Combined Medication – Some medications and treatment plans comprise two or more medications.
- Nasal Irrigation – Using saline water to rinse sinuses is one of the cheaper and faster ways to eliminate congestion. It flushes out allergens and mucus from your nasal cavity.
Allergy medication is not recommended in the following cases:
- Heart problems since some of the drugs cause palpitations and speed up heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Prostrate and urinating problems
- Nasal stuffiness since some of the drugs increase it
Also known as desensitization, it involves getting allergy shots several times for allergens. In due course, the injections induce your immune system to react minimally when exposed to allergy triggers.
The therapy lasts between three to five years and is offered mostly to adults. If you dislike injections, see if your doctor can give you an oral option of allergen immunotherapy.
Avoiding Exposure to Allergens
Although avoiding allergens sounds easy, sometimes it may be impossible. For instance, you would have to remain indoors throughout to avoid exposure to pollen. However, you no longer have to anticipate another health nightmare every spring. Your control measures will depend on the severity of your symptoms. Try the following lifestyle adjustments to remain safe:
- Gather updates from the internet, your local radio or TV station, and the dailies to learn more about current pollen levels and pollen forecasts
- Do not take your clothes and beddings outside to dry since pollen will stick to them
- Delegate some garden and lawn chores that bring out pollen – such as pulling out weeds and lawn mowing
- Avoid outdoor activities during high pollen hours whose peak is after early morning
- Wear a face mask and gloves to the garden
- Upon coming back indoors, remove your clothes and take a shower to remove pollen from your body
- Wear clothes made of natural fabrics since synthetic fibers attract pollen
- Wear sunglasses to keep the irritants from your eyes
- If you want to go on holiday, opt for locations near oceans
- Keep doors and windows shut during the night and other times of high pollen levels
- Remain indoors on windy days since this is when allergens such as pollen abound in the air
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the air dry
- Invest in an efficient air conditioner for your car and house
- Clean floors and carpets thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner that’s fitted with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter
- Carry out regular maintenance on your air conditioner or heater to keep it running efficiently
- Use a HEPA filter in your bedroom
- Check your pets and keep them clean as they can bring in pollen
- Watch your diet since some foods trigger extra reactions if you are already prone to seasonal allergies
Effects of Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Besides making you miserable, the symptoms can cause poor sleep which leads to fatigue, irritability, poor memory, and low concentration. They enhance the likelihood of you suffering from respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. If not properly treated, allergies can lead to more complications such as sinuses and ear infections.
When to See a Doctor
Although home remedies might work, you should see a doctor to get a personalized treatment plan if you are not getting quick relief.. If your symptoms get worse or are severe, or you suffer from other medical conditions, you should consult a doctor even before the allergy season begins. When is allergy season? Spring, summer, and fall are the main allergy seasons.
Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.