What are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies are cold-like symptoms that happen at certain times of the year. It usually happens when the trees, grasses, spores, etc release pollen into the air for fertilizing other plants. Seasonal allergies are also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis and there can be many types of seasonal allergies including pollen and mould spores. People who are allergic to these particles release chemicals to defend the so-called invaders. The hay fever season is usually in the Fall, Spring and summer and different parts of the country have different pollen seasons.
Seasonal Allergies Symptoms
The common symptoms of seasonal allergies or hay fever are:
- Itchy eyes, nose, back of the throat and the roof of the mouth. The itching starts abruptly or is gradual.
- Runny nose with a watery discharge which can also lead to a stuffy nose.
- When the nose is stuffy it can lead to headaches and even infection of the sinus.
- The eyes become red, swollen, and watery. If you are wearing a contact lens then it irritates the eye.
- Congestion or pain in the ear.
- When the allergy becomes severe, it leads to coughing and wheezing.
- Trouble sleeping and irritability.
- Shortness of breath in rare cases
People who suffer from allergic rhinitis and have fever usually have an asthma attack.
Who is at Risk?
The severity of the reaction to the allergy due to various allergens varies from one person to another. The risk factors for allergies is more for:
- People who have a close family member having this allergic condition.
- Children who have parents with seasonal allergies are more susceptible to this condition as it is a hereditary condition and is called allergic predisposition.
- People who have a low immunity
- Kids are more prone to allergies than adults as their immunity is yet to be developed. In many cases, as they age the severity and number of instances of reactions reduce.
- People living in certain environments like dry weather or places with more pollen are likely to develop it.
- Smokers are more susceptible to allergies or increase the number of times they fall sick.
Seasonal Allergies Causes
Seasonal allergies or hay fever are caused due to the overreaction of the immune system to some of the particles present in the air. These particles are usually not dangerous but the body responds adversely by releasing histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream. When these chemicals are released it produces the symptoms of hay fever. They are:
- The severity of the condition depends on how the body reacts to the allergens.
- It is also dependent on the type of allergen the person is allergic to.
- Allergies can also be caused due to the pollen season intensity.
- Indoor pollens like mould, dust, etc can also cause allergies.
How are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed?
A seasonal allergies doctor will do an evaluation of the symptoms and the possible seasons in which they occur. This helps to identify the probable allergen that is causing the allergies. Most of the time there is no need for further testing but in some cases, the nasal discharge is tested for the presence of eosinophils.
If the symptoms are severe and multiple allergens are causing it allergy testing is done as part of seasonal allergies diagnosis. It includes tests like skin prick test and allergen-specific immunoglobulin test, IgE if skin test does not produce clear results.
How are Seasonal Allergies Treated?
The best seasonal allergies treatment is to avoid the allergens but it is difficult hence there are a few treatment options available like:
- Medications: There are many over the counter medications that can help. But if they do not help, your doctor may prescribe medicine for seasonal allergies like antihistamines, decongestants, or a combination of both.
- Allergy shots: If medications do not help in easing the symptoms, allergy shots can provide seasonal allergies cure as it is an immunotherapy. This helps to modify the immune system and reduce the severity of the condition.
If you or someone in your family is suffering from allergies contact our specialists at Cure.fit, who can help in easing the symptoms. Book your online or offline appointment with our specialists to know more about it.
How can Seasonal Allergies be Prevented?
The answer to the question of how to prevent seasonal allergies is many. It includes:
- Stay indoors as much as possible, it is feasible during the allergy season.
- Wear a mask if you want to go out.
- Do not do any activities that can cause allergies. It includes dusting, de-weeding, etc.
- Do not hang any laundry like your clothes, bedsheets, etc outside.
- Change your clothes and take a shower if you go outside during allergy season.
- Use air filters indoors to prevent allergens.