Seasonal Allergies by Marianne Leffert
What are seasonal allergies? Sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, ear aches, and scratchy throat (depending on the time of year) are all signs of common seasonal allergies. In Southern California, our allergy season can start as early as mid-winter, and each season has different types of allergens in the air; it’s not just spring. For those who are not sure if your allergies are lasting too long or if they get worse by being inside, you should be tested by your primary care doctor, you might be allergic to dust mites. It’s important to know the differences so you can prepare for your allergy season.
What are things that bring about our seasonal allergies? Trees, weeds and grasses are main causes. The climate has a lot to do with the severity of our allergies. For instance, if we have an extra rainy season, this will cause more mold which can provoke our allergy symptoms and make them last longer. Mold grows rapidly in high humid areas. If the day is very windy and warm there will be an increase of pollen in the air.
But what can we do to get away from pollen? Moving to another climate doesn’t help because allergies are technically everywhere. However, there are ways that we can manage our symptoms. Keep track of pollen and mold counts in your current area. Keep your windows closed at home and in your car during high pollen count days during allergy season. Learn what kinds of pollens provoke your allergies the most. Limit your outdoor exposure and wash hands and face after being outside. Shower after being outdoors and wash clothes of any lingering pollens. Recognize what seasons are worse or better for you. During tree and grass pollen season around spring and summer the pollen counts are higher in the late afternoon. During summer and fall when it is mostly ragweed pollens, the levels are usually higher in the mornings.
There are also over-the-counter medications that are available to temporarily help and control allergy symptoms. Some medications that are recommended are antihistamines tablets like: Cetirizine (Zyrtec) and Loratadine (Claritin-D) and nasal sprays like: Azelastine and Fluticasone Propionate (Dymista, Flonase, Nasacort).
Other ways that allergists have found effective for symptoms is called immunotherapy or getting allergy shots. This is a series of injections to slowly introduce your body to your specific allergen to get your body to accept it and overtime the body would sustain the allergens instead of getting sneeze attacks and those watery itchy eyes.
It’s important to keep our allergies under control. If our allergy symptoms are left untreated and get worse, we are at risk of our simple allergy turning into a sinus infection. Our sinuses become swollen during our allergies and the can turn into infected mucus in our sinuses and draining down into post nasal drip causing more infection.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.