Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
This is a type of allergic reaction caused by allergens in the environment. Seasonal allergy symptoms are commonly referred to as hay fever.
Allergens responsible for seasonal allergy include pollen, dust and mold.
Like all other allergies, seasonal allergy happens when your body reacts to allergens. In this case, your body's immune system reacts to environmental allergens that would normally not affect other people.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergy
There are several symptoms often associated with seasonal allergy. Some are severe while others are just mild.
These symptoms include:
- Nasal irritation,
- Ear congestion,
- Watery eyes,
- Running nose,
If you also have asthma, seasonal allergies can trigger an asthmatic attack. This makes seasonal allergy symptoms even more pronounced.
Hay fever happens when your body's immune system reacts to environmental allergens.
What Causes Seasonal Allergy?
Allergens like pollen can be blown by wind for miles. When your immune system detects this airborne allergen, it responds by releasing histamines.
Histamine and other chemicals released into your bloodstream cause an allergic reaction.
There are various factors that cause seasonal allergy symptoms. The most common causes vary with the changing seasons, i.e. winter, fall, summer and spring.
Other factors related to the above seasons include:
- Pollen: Tree and flower pollens.
- Smoke: From fireplaces and camping sites.
- Insect bites: Mostly during summer or spring.
- Chlorine: From swimming pools.
Seasonal Factors That Cause Seasonal Allergy
Changes in seasons cause allergic reactions in some people. The seasonal factors are:
1) Winter - During this season, people who are allergic to indoor allergens are affected. This is because this season is cold and most people tend to spend more time indoors.
It is easy to control allergic attacks caused by indoor allergens.
You can eliminate the causal factors by doing the following:
- Removing dust by washing your beddings weekly.
- Remove mold from surfaces around your home.
- Make sure to fix water leaks.
2) Summer - Allergens during this season are mainly pollen from grass and weeds. Most people susceptible to hay fever are most likely to experience allergic reactions during summer.
3) Fall - Pollen is the real culprit here. You are most likely to get an allergic reaction during fall if you are allergic to pollen.
4) Spring - Flowers and trees grow back during spring. Pollen sources are in abundance during this season. If you are allergic to pollen, you are most likely to get seasonal allergy symptoms.
Diagnosis of Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
If you experience allergies only at certain times of the year, then you have seasonal allergy. This makes it easier to diagnose than other allergies.
Your physician might also check your ears, nose and throat in the process of diagnosing symptoms.
Treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms is usually the same regardless of the allergen. This means that testing may not be a must all the time.
Treatment for Seasonal Allergy
Medication treatment is available for seasonal allergy. However, as always, the best solution is to keep away from allergens causing seasonal allergy.
1) Treatment Using Medication
Here, you can use anti-histamine drugs and decongestants like nasal sprays. These are available over the counter. This can be used when it is not possible to avoid allergens.
Immunotherapy - This is treatment using allergy shots in small doses. Small doses of the allergen are introduced until the patient's immune system can handle its effects on the body. However, it is important to note that this method does not always work for all patients.
Again, note that using medicine to treat seasonal allergy does have a number of side effects. These may include nausea, drowsiness and confusion.
2) Keeping Away from Allergens
- Be sure to know your seasonal allergy triggers so as to be able to look out for them. Try as much as possible to keep away from these triggers. For instance, you can use a dust mask when you step outside on a windy day.
- Use air conditioners with appropriate filters in your home.
- Try minimizing your outdoor activities if possible.
Seasonal allergy symptoms, commonly known as hay fever, occur seasonally. Allergens responsible for these allergic symptoms include pollen and dust.
Diagnosis is simple because these symptoms are seasonal. Your doctor might also do a physical examination of your ears, nose and throat.
Treatment is available either by prescription drugs or immunotherapy. The best treatment, however, is to keep away from these outdoor allergens.
Identifying your seasonal allergy triggers is important. This is the best way to avoid seasonal allergy symptoms.
Keep your rooms dusted, remove molds and reduce outdoor activities if possible to control your exposure to harmful allergens.
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