Watch Out For Natural Allergy Remedies
Neti pots and nasal rinse squeeze bottles can provide relief if youre looking for medicine-free ways to treat your allergies. Most of these methods just involve flushing out your nasal cavity with salt water, and theyre fairly safe when used correctly. Just be sure to use distilled water with them to avoid infection, and dont use cold water unless you enjoy brain freeze.
If you have tree pollen or plant allergies, though, steer clear of any alleged herbal remedies. I dont recommend anything herbal, Dr. Eidelman says. They can actually make things worse.
For example, people who are allergic to ragweed sometimes have serious allergic reactions to echinacea, a common immune stimulant. This herbal product comes from the purple coneflower a close relative of ragweed.
With that example in mind, Dr. Eidelman offers a final warning about herbal remedies: Keep in mind that just because somethings natural, it doesnt mean that youre not going to be allergic to it.
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Treatment For Seasonal Allergies
There are several ways you can treat your seasonal allergies on your own.
Avoid outdoor triggers. If possible, Dr. Hemphill recommends staying away from environments where your allergens might be present, and staying indoors with your windows closed on days with high pollen counts .
Protect yourself from pollen. If you must go outside, you can wear a mask covering your mouth and nose and wraparound glasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. You can also save outdoor activities for late afternoon. If you have a lawn, keep your grass cut short. Once you get back inside, rinse off to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
Keep your home triggers clean. Dr. Hemphill also recommends controlling what you can, such as keeping your pets regularly groomed to avoid pet dander. Brushing pets immediately after theyve been outside can also prevent pollen from entering your home. Regularly cleaning your home and repairing any leaks can help you avoid dust mites and mold.
Take medication. Several over-the-counter antihistamines can alleviate your seasonal allergies symptoms. These can come as pills, chewable tablets, capsules, liquids and eye drops. Common OTC antihistamines include cetirizine , fexofenadine and loratadine .
These medications are most effective when you take them before pollen season begins. That way, your body wont release histamine once the season starts and you can reduce or prevent your symptoms.
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Relieve Your Allergy Symptoms
It is impossible to avoid pollen altogether. Some people may find over-the-counter medications improve symptoms and quality of life. Oral antihistamines can help relieve the misery of sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Decongestants can also be used to reduce congestion but should only be taken for a few days at a time. If allergy symptoms are significantly impacting your daily life, talk to a doctor or allergist for additional help.
How To Keep Allergens At Bay
All the allergens have one thing in common: they affect indoor air quality. Taking steps to optimize your HVAC system for the season can go a long way in combating seasonal allergies. If you havent done so already, replace the air filters in your HVAC system. When air filters get filled to capacity which usually happens every three months trapped particles like dust and pollen can be recirculated into the air ducts. Running an air purifier can help maintain indoor air quality, as well.
You can also take precautions when going outside. Continuing to wear your mask is a great way to prevent the inhalation of allergens while outdoors, whether youre doing some gardening or buying groceries. Changing your clothes, washing your hair and taking off your shoes after coming back home can likewise help stop allergens from being tracked indoors.
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Causes Of Spring Allergies
The spring season usually drives common allergens from weeds, tree pollen and spores to become airborne. So, people who are allergic to such particles breathe pollen in and their immune system misjudges it as threat. Hence their immune goes overdrive to combat these allergens. It results in release of antibodies, which trigger the release of histamines in bloodstream. This is the main cause of spring allergy symptoms including runny nose and itchiness.
So, the biggest cause of spring allergy is pollen and a persons response of immune system. These tiny grains are released by grasses, trees and weeds into the air to fertilize the plants and when they come in contact with the person who is allergic, they send bodys defenses haywire. Pollen can travel for miles and hence the plants in your house or neighbor cant be blamed alone.
The pollen counts are more and higher during breezy days, especially when the wind picks up these tiny grains and carries it through the air. But, the rainy days wash away these allergens and hence allergic people are less likely to suffer from the allergic reactions during rainy days.
The causes of spring allergy include the presence of pollen, dust and other particulate matter that can cause irritation during spring. A persons immunity too plays an important role in this. People who have a weak immune system, are over sensitive, have auto-immune disorders or other allergic problems are at greater risk of spring allergy.
What Are The Most Common Spring Allergies
The biggest and most prominent spring allergy trigger is pollen, however there are many different types of pollen, the most problematic being:
- Tree pollen
- Weed pollen
Tree pollen can be carried for miles by the spring breeze and are one of the biggest problems for allergy sufferers in spring. The most common types of tree pollen are:
- Cypress Poplar
Even Juniper or Cedar, which is typically a winter-pollinating tree, can contribute to high pollen levels in the early spring depending on how warm the winter weather is.
Grass pollen is often thought of as a summer allergy, but it gets its start in spring and depending on the weather, can begin releasing pollen in late spring, also being carried in the wind for several miles like tree pollen.
Grass pollen is tiny, microscopic actually. You most likely will never be able to see it in the air, but your body will certainly react if youâre allergic. Dry and windy days tend to make allergies to grass pollen worse, whereas cold or damp weather can lessen the impact of grass pollen.
The most common types of grasses that cause allergies are:
- Johnson grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Timothy grass
Weed allergies can also contribute to spring allergies, although they tend to peak in late summer and early fall and go beyond the common spring allergies like tree and grass pollen.
Common allergenic weeds are:
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Get The Care You Need To Keep Seasonal Allergies Under Control
Over-the-counter allergy medications work reasonably well, especially for itching and sneezing. If you have those symptoms, start with an oral antihistamine tablet for allergy relief. The nice thing about an antihistamine tablet is it works fairly quickly within an hour or so. But make sure you continue to take the medication consistently and as directed to help maintain that relief throughout the allergy season.
What Is A Pollen Allergy
Pollen is one of the most common triggers of seasonal allergies. Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
Each spring, summer, and fall and even in the winter in some states plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses, and weeds. These plants make small, light, and dry pollen grains that travel by the wind. They then can find their way into your eyes, nose, and lungs, causing allergy symptoms if you have a pollen allergy.
Flowering plants that spread their pollen by insects like roses and some trees, like cherry and pear trees usually do not cause allergic rhinitis.
Do You Live in an Allergy Capital?
Your location can have an impact on your seasonal allergies. AAFAs Allergy Capitals report looks at the top 100 most challenging cities in the continental United States to live with seasonal pollen allergies.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America produces this report to:
- Help people recognize, prevent, and manage allergy symptoms
- Help communities identify where the needs of people with allergic diseases can be better met
- Raise awareness about the impact of seasonal allergies and provide helpful information to improve the quality of life for people who experience them
Tree Pollen Allergy
Some of the trees that cause the most allergy symptoms are:
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What Can Happen If Rhinitis Isn’t Managed Properly
Sometimes rhinitis can be more than just the sniffles. In fact, its been shown that uncontrolled allergic rhinitis can lead to:
- Increased risk of developing asthma6
- Poorer asthma control in people with asthma 7
- Reduced physical, mental and emotional well-being7
- Reduced sleep quality 8
- Being constantly tired, and tiring easily, which leads to lowered concentration at work or school and needing more time off, all of which affects job performance or school work6
- Reduced quality of everyday life, including social life and daily activities6
- Irritability and social problems in children7
Undertreated allergic rhinitis is a major factor in developing asthma, and it can make asthma worse.9
If your child suffers from allergies and asthma, learn how you can help take control of their asthma.
Most Common Spring Allergy
The most common spring allergy is allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, which is triggered by the inhalation of plant pollen. However, these same allergens can also exacerbate other respiratory diseases such as asthma and sinusitis.
This allergy is characterized by the inflammation of the airways caused by the release of inflammatory mediators from degranulated mast cells to ward off the foreign irritant that the immune system perceives as a threat to your body.
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What Are Treatment Options For Seasonal Allergies
Allergies are treated to reduce symptoms, says Dr. Nguyen. If there are known triggers, try to avoid them.
Dr. Nguyen adds that patients can take over-the-counter oral medication , do a nasal rinse, use over-the-counter glucocorticoid nasal spray , or use over-the-counter eye drops. If these medications do not improve your symptoms, you should see your primary care provider.
Here Is Your Recap Now What
What can your My Symptom Profile tell you about allergies? Nothing, by itself. So resist the temptation to self-diagnose.
Treating allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medications or other remedies without determining the cause could lead to more issues in the long run. When paired with testing, such as specific IgE blood testing for food or respiratory allergies, your My Symptom Profile can guide your healthcare provider in creating a customized trigger-management plan to help reduce exposure to suspected allergens.
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What Is The Treatment For Pollen Allergy
In addition to trying to cut down your contact with pollen, there are certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines that may help reduce pollen allergy symptoms.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine type for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion. Nasal corticosteroids have few side effects.
- Antihistamines come in pill, liquid, or nasal spray form. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness. Look for a long-acting, non-drowsy antihistamine.
- are available as pills, liquids, nasal sprays, or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve nasal stuffiness. They generally are only used for a short time. Check with your doctor before using decongestants if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, thyroid disease, or trouble urinating. They may cause issues if you have any of these conditions and they may interact with other prescription medicines.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists block the action of important chemical messengers that are involved in allergic reactions.
- Cromolyn sodium is a nasal spray that blocks the release of chemicals that cause allergy symptoms, including histamine and leukotrienes. This medicine has few side effects, but you must take it four times a day.
Types of Allergies
How Can I Protect Myself And/or My Child From These Seasonal Allergies
During the pollen and mold season, we recommend jumping in the shower as soon as you get home every night to rinse the pollen off. Put cold, wet washcloths over your eyes and gently squeeze them to rinse the pollen out of your eyes. You may need to keep the air conditioner running through much of the season to keep the pollen out of the house. We never recommend staying indoors all summer, however! We encourage everyone to spend time outside playing as a family.
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Signs Of Spring Allergies
April showers bring May flowers. Unfortunately, those flowers might spell bad news for allergy sufferers. Spring is a beautiful season, but its not so delightful when you are experiencing signs of spring allergies.
If youre always feeling sick at this time of year, you may be one of many who suffer from spring allergies. Here are some symptoms to look out for and ways to treat them.
What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies
An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts negatively to something that would ordinarily be harmless. Allergens are substances that can trigger an allergic reaction, resulting in various symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening, depending on the allergen.
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Why Your Allergies Are So Bad In The Spring
Allergic rhinitis and nasal allergies can significantly affect your quality of life. In fact, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States.
They can really make you miserable. Your eyes get itchy and swollen, your nose is congested, you sneeze a lot and your lungs can become irritated, Dr. Eidelman says. And further along the spectrum, the severity can become disabling. You cant get out of bed, you cant sleep, you cant focus on your work it can be intense.
Dr. Eidelman explains why spring allergies in particular can be so debilitating.
Its Tempting But Keep Your Windows Closed
When the weather is finally warm outside, it is tempting to turn off the heat, open windows, and let the fresh air in. This fresh breeze might feel nice, but it will also bring the pollen inside your home. Keeping your windows and doors closed will create a safe retreat during the peak pollen season.
Another place to control pollen is in your car. Keep your car windows closed and the AC on re-circulation to help keep pollen out of the car.
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Risk Factors For Seasonal Allergies
There arent often major risks stemming from seasonal allergies, Dr. Hemphill says, but some people can develop further symptoms. These include:
- Acute or chronic sinusitis : when fluid builds up in your nasal sinuses , it allows germs to grow there.
- Upper respiratory infection: are infections of the mouth, nose and throat, leading to a runny nose, sore throat and cough.
- Nasal polyps: soft, painless and noncancerous growths lining the nose or sinuses.
- Postnasal drip: feeling of mucus gathering in the throat or dripping from the back of your nose, leading to frequent swallowing and/or throat clearing, sore irritated throat and feeling a lump in the throat.
- Ear infections: infection in the ear that can lead to pain, fever and fussiness,
Although not life-threatening, these symptoms can definitely affect the quality of life, says Dr. Hemphill.
More serious cases can develop into bronchitis or pneumonia . If your bout of seasonal allergies seems to be worsening, Dr. Hemphill suggests following up with your health care provider.
Ways To Help Relieve Spring Allergies
Spring is around the corner, and along with budding flowers, warmer temperatures and longer days come runny noses and itchy, watery eyes for the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.
Allergies occur when the immune system misidentifies typically harmless substances, such as pollen, as a threat and tries to fight them off. The congestion you experience is your own bodys immune system battling what it perceives as a danger.
Seasonal allergiesalso called hay fever and allergic rhinitiscan make you miserable. But with proper preparation you can enjoy the great outdoors.
Here are six strategies to use when battling seasonal allergies.
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Duration Of Spring Allergies
The duration of the allergy season depends on the pollen period and the level of pollen in the air, which tends to vary from region to region during spring. There are certain species of plants that pollinate in the fall.
It may also differ from person to person. Many people manifest symptoms during the entire spring season, while others present intermittent symptoms.