Or Maybe We Just Have No Idea
And finally, lets give one last big shrug for all the other factors that seem to influence allergies that we dont understand at all. A significant chunk of our most pressing allergy questions are simply unknown. Luckily, allergy research is exploding right now, so hopefully, well have answers to those irritating questions soon. In the meantime, if youre suffering from allergies, get personalized help. Allergists can identify your particular issues and will suggest treatment options, all of which will help you manage your allergies better.
What Causes Allergic Rhinitis
Seasonal allergic rhinitis is usually triggered by wind-borne pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Early spring symptoms point to tree pollen, while nasal allergy in late spring and summer indicates that grass and weed pollens are the culprits. And overlapping the grass season is the weed pollen season, which usually starts in late spring and extends through to the end of summer.
In New Zealand the seasons are not very distinct and they vary throughout the country because of the different climates. The season starts about one month earlier at the top of the North Island than the bottom of the South Island. Thus the hay fever season is not very well defined.
Allergic rhinitis that persists year-round is usually caused by house dust mites, pets, or mould. People with allergic rhinitis are often allergic to more than one allergen, such as dust mite and pollen, so may suffer from symptoms for months on end or all year round.
Irritants such as strong perfumes and tobacco smoke can aggravate this condition.
Do Kids Typically Outgrow Their Hay Fever
Kids do sometimes outgrow allergies. A lot of food-related allergies can be outgrown, particularly mild ones, though this varies from person to person. But seasonal allergies usually stick with you for life.What can you give a child for allergies? Some people find help from immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or sublingual tablets. That can help you develop a tolerance for a particular allergen. However, once you’ve had an allergic reaction to one thing in your environment , you tend to develop more. That’s known as the priming effect. The priming effect means that once you’ve been primed to react to one allergen, you’re more likely to react to another one. So, once you’ve defeated a grass pollen allergy, a mold allergy might crop up next, or a tree pollen allergy.
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Those Annoying Little Pests
Fleas and other insects, such as ticks, mosquitoes, ants, bees and spiders can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Of these insects, fleas are the most common allergen. In dogs with severe flea allergies, a single flea bite is enough to cause a severe itchy reaction. To stop the itching, dogs may pull out hair and bite open wounds in the skin, often leading to secondary bacterial infections. The most commonly affected area is at the base of the tail. Flea allergy dermatitis typically gets worse with age and regular exposure however some dogs can develop an autoimmune response to the flea saliva and show symptom improvement. Flea prevention is essential to reduce this type of canine allergy.
Does Allergies Make You Tired
Seasonal allergies are one of the most common types, and they can really take their toll on you. When we have an allergy attack our bodys immune system is flooded with immunoglobulin E which causes symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes/nose etc., but these responses dont just happen internallythey also affect nearby cells in order to protect us from potential allergens outside as well! This means that even though your throat may be scratchy after battling cedar pollen season long if someone cuts down a tree near them while out running errands today then chances are good hell get sick too because both sets off their respective Allergies
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Is Rain Good For Allergies
Some seasonal allergy sufferers celebrate the rain because it relieves their symptoms, while others dread it. Why the difference in attitude? It’s because depending on your allergy, rain can either be a good sign or a bad sign.
Does rain make allergies worse? Let’s start with the good things about rain for allergies. Some pollens scatter and collect on outdoor surfaces, accumulating over time. When steady or heavy rains come, they wash away this accumulation of pollen, and that is good news if those types of pollen give you sneezing fits. What’s more, the moisture in the air can weigh down pollens, sending them down to the ground. With enough rainwater, the pollen then flushes down the drain and away from your sinuses.
Of course there’s bad news, too. Sometimes when it rainsespecially during sudden downpoursthe airborne pollens clump together on their way down, then crash apart when they hit the ground, scattering everywhere, and perhaps eventually through your nostrils. There are other problems as well. After enough rain has poured, mold starts to grow, aggravating anyone with mold spore allergies. You may be able to escape somewhat if you reduce the humidity inside your home, which discourages mold. Grasses thrive after the rain too, so grass pollen allergies can also intensify soon after rainfall.
Are Our Allergies Getting Worse
The year may have only just begun, but many of us are already looking forward to spring. It being just around the corner may conjure up pleasant thoughts of warmer weather and flowers blooming. But for some, it brings up unpleasant memories of itchy, watery eyes and runny noses.
Plenty of hay fever sufferers say that their symptoms get worse every year. But is hay fever actually getting worse or is it just the individuals reaction that gets worse?
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Allergies Take Time To Develop
Even though it may seem like your childs symptoms popped up suddenly, allergies actually take time to develop in children, pediatric allergist Kathryn Ruda Wessell, DO, says.
Allergic rhinitis can be caused by either an indoor or outdoor allergen, Dr. Wessell says. With outdoor allergens, you have to live through the season a few times to become sensitized. We tend to see outdoor triggered seasonal allergy symptoms in children after age 3, classically ages 5 to 6. Indoor allergen triggered symptoms can be seen earlier, as early as 1 year of age because of things theyre exposed to in the home on a regular basis, such as dust mites and pets.
According to Dr. Wessell, some people are exposed to a foreign substance or allergen and have no symptoms, while others come into contact with an allergen and have allergic reactions, including a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing.
Age also matters. Allergic reactions that are triggered by allergens, such as pollen, dust or pets are more common in children up to 20 years old. After that, its usually thought to be non-allergic rhinitis, which isnt caused by allergens, but rather by substances like smoke, chemicals, environmental irritants, hormonal changes and/or physical defects of the nose.
The way that allergies evolve in children even has a name, says Dr. Wessell.
The allergic march includes these conditions:
These four diseases can overlap or appear in different order in a childs life, Dr. Wessell says.
Do Allergies Get Better Around The Time You Retire
As you get past age 65, your immune system begins to decline. That has negative consequences but the silver lining for allergy sufferers is that your sniffling may go away. People between the ages of 18 and 60 have a higher frequency of nasal allergies than older adults.
Fewer allergies doesn’t mean no allergies, though. An estimated 13% to 15% of older adults still get seasonal allergies. For those seniors who still get them, symptoms can be more serious. Medical costs, quality of life issues, and hospitalizations from allergies are more common later in life.
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How Climate Change Makes Allergies Worse
Allergies are the result of the immune system overreacting to something that is otherwise benign. That can lead to annoying but mild symptoms like hives or itchy eyes. But it can also cause life-threatening complications like anaphylaxis, where blood pressure plummets and airways start swelling shut.
Pollen is one of the most common allergens. Its produced as part of the reproductive cycle of plants. The timing of pollen production varies depending on the plant species, with trees peaking in the spring, grass over the summer, and ragweed in the fall.
There are two main ways that humans are changing pollen production. One mechanism is that humans are increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have risen from 280 parts per million in the 1800s to 420 ppm today.
When CO2 goes up, plants tend to grow a little bigger, said William Anderegg, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Utah. They tend to put out more flowers as a fraction of their mass, and individual flowers tend to have actually more pollen on them.
Plants that produce more pollen tend to produce more seeds. That also means more pollen-spewing plants in the next season.
The combination of these two factors is leading to more pollen production and over a longer period of time.
When They Get Worse
Some people find that their allergies worsen over time. That’s especially true of allergies to foods, latex, or bee stings, which can result in more serious reactions with each exposure.
Other things also make a big difference. All it takes is a heavy pollen season, or a new job in a moldy building, for allergies to flare up.
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What Is Allergic Rhinitis
Like any other allergy, allergic rhinitis is an inappropriate immune system response to an allergen most commonly house dust mite, pet, pollen and mould. The allergen comes into contact with the sensitive, moist lining in your nose and sinuses and sets off the allergic response.
Hay fever is often considered a nuisance rather than a major disease and most people will self-treat. However, recent studies have revealed that hay fever has a huge impact on quality of life.
Using The Wrong Air Filter
Air filters can help purify the air and get rid of pollen in your home or office, but only if you choose the correct one.
There are two types of air cleaners: portable air cleaners and central furnace, or HVAC, filters. Portable air cleaners filter the air in one room, while central furnace filters treat air throughout an entire home. Inexpensive central furnace and air conditioning filters, however, don’t always do the trick. In fact, not replacing them often enough could make your allergies worse.
If you have a forced air heating or cooling system in your home, consider using high-efficiency filters and stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Placing a portable high-efficiency particulate air filter in your bedroom or using a dehumidifier can also help.
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When To Start Taking An Allergy Medication
Allergies can make you feel just as badly as if you had a nasty cold. Dont wait until you start experiencing symptoms to take medication, especially with allergy season coming earlier and earlier each year.
Certain nasal sprays such as nasal steroids may take days or even weeks to start working. Other medications, such as Afrin, shouldnt be used for more than a few days at a time read over the counter labels carefully and, as always, consult an allergist if youre ever unsure.
Unfortunately, as long as global temperatures are predicted to rise, spring allergy season is only going to get worse. But by taking a proactive approach to treatment, youll be able to keep your worst symptoms at bay.
Looking for an allergist in the Tampa Bay area? Dr. Daniel Reichmuth helps patients in Land O Lakes, Zephyrhills, Wiregrass, and the surrounding areas manage their seasonal allergies, as well as chronic year-round allergies, food allergies, and insect allergies. Request an appointment with Dr. Reichmuth at Florida Medical Clinic today to find a solution for your most stubborn symptoms.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications.
Does Desert Weather Stop Seasonal Allergies
Will moving to the desert curb seasonal allergy symptoms? This is mostly a myth, with an element of truth to it. It used to be fairly common advice for allergy-sufferers to move to the desert. With their hot, dry climates, deserts are free from a lot of the usual suspects that cause seasonal allergies like ragweed and grass. However, apparently everyone listened. Desert communities like Las Vegas and Phoenix now feature many of the same allergenic plants found elsewhere.
You still may get some relief in a drier climate, though. More remote desert areas can have lower pollen counts, though some people are allergic to desert plants like sagebrush and Russian thistle. You may get some relief from dust, too. Scientists from North Carolina studied different areas around the U.S. for dust mites, the microscopic pests responsible for many indoor allergies. They found that the Great Plains and Mountain West regionsdrier than the coastsproduced fewer dust mites.
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Choosing The Right Allergy Medication
Allergy medications can greatly reduce your symptoms, but what medications should you be taking?
The answer depends on the severity of your symptoms and to what exactly youre allergic, says allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Reichmuth.
For mild seasonal allergies, over the counter medications usually do the trick. But if you feel like your allergies are getting worse year after year and your usual OTC medications are losing their effectiveness, it might be time to see an allergist.
An allergist can help you create an effective allergy management plan based on your symptoms and how long they last.
Factors To Consider When Wondering If Your Bee Stings Get Worse Each Time
While everyone responds to bee stings differently, there are a few main contributing factors to severe allergic reactions. Primarily, if you have a history of severe reactions, you must understand your risk for increased severity in the future. According to research, other factors may include older age, cardiovascular diseases, treatment with beta-blockers and ace inhibitors, and a rare disease called mastocytosis.
Additionally, fatalities associated with bee sting anaphylaxis are reported mainly in male adults.11
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How To Avoid Pollen
There are a few ways to decrease your exposure to pollen. Reducing your exposure can help minimize your symptoms.
- Limit outdoor activity in the early morning hours, especially from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m
- Drive with the windows closed to prevent exposure to pollen
- Sleep with the windows shut to limit pollen entering the home
- Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry
- After being outdoors, take a quick shower and change your clothes so pollen isnt on your body for too long
- Avoid being outdoors if it is windy or if pollen counts are high
Mayo Clinic Q And A: Reasons For Developing Allergies Later In Life Not Always Clear
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I didnt have allergies when I was younger. But now in my 40s, I seem to get allergy symptoms during the spring and summer. Is it possible to develop allergies as an adult? Should I get tested? If so, what do allergy tests involve?
ANSWER: You can develop allergies later in life, and there is definitely value in getting tested to see if your symptoms are due to allergies. If they are, the test results will give you information about what youre allergic to and help guide you as you decide on treatment. Allergy tests usually involve a skin test, a blood test or both.
Allergy development typically has two phases. During the first phase, called sensitization, you come in contact with a harmless substance, and your body mistakenly starts making allergic antibodies, called IgE antibodies, to fight that substance. Those antibodies dont do anything until you are exposed to the substance, or allergen, again. At that time, the second phase starts. The allergen binds to the IgE antibodies. That sets off a cascade of immune reactions in your body, such as itchy or watery eyes, nasal congestion and sneezing, among others.
If, as in your situation, allergy symptoms develop but you arent sure what you might be allergic to, or even if your symptoms really are allergies, it is worthwhile to go through allergy testing. The tests can show what you are sensitive to, and knowing that can go a long way to customizing treatment to your specific situation.
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Do Reactions Get Worse With Each Successive Episode
This may be the most common misconception about anaphylaxis. In fact, subsequent reactions could be the same, better or worse. The reason this is so unpredictable is that the nature of any reaction depends on two main factors: how allergic you are and the dose of allergen ingested. While a persons level of allergy may vary in either direction over time, the dose of allergen is an even bigger variable.For example, with one reaction you may have eaten 1/100 th of a peanut and with another the equivalent of 3 peanuts. With a 300-fold higher dose your reaction will almost certainly be much more severe.The only good research in this area was done with bee-sting allergy, in which it was shown that with subsequent stings, , especially in children, reactions were almost always either the same of less severe.
Do Seasonal Allergies Make You Tired
Acetaminophen is one of the most common over-the-counter medications used to relieve pain and fever. While it can be purchased without a prescription, its acetic acid core will also act as an antihistamine for allergic reactions or sinus congestion this means you wont have any negative side effects when taking it if your allergy symptoms are due to these conditions!
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