Are Allergies And Asthma Related
Allergies and asthma are related conditions linked by a common airway. They both affect our breathing by blocking the free passage of air between the nose and the lungs.
With allergies, the obstruction occurs in the upper area of the airway when the layers of the nose become inflamed. Sneezing helps to clear the mucus from the upper part of the airway. With asthma, the breathlessness and wheezing are caused by a narrowing of the bronchioles. Inflammation of the small airways layers may cause mucus to increase, making the obstruction worse. The dry cough that develops in the airways helps to clear out the mucus. An allergic reaction in the lungs can develop into asthma, so its important to immediately address the symptoms to control both conditions.
Did You Know:
Youll Know Its A Cold If
With a cold youre more likely to have a little bit of temperature, Corbett says. You may have chills or body aches that you shouldnt really have with allergies. And then, typically, a common colds only going to last you probably a couple of days, whereas the allergies will drag on.
But since colds generally dont have any big red flags to look out for, you’re likely going to lean on the process of elimination. Colds rarely cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea or headaches, which are telltale COVID-19 symptoms. Colds also arent associated with itchiness a classic sign of seasonal allergies.
And since a cold can share some of the milder symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, sore throat and runny nose the best thing to do is get tested. There isnt a lab test for the common cold, but you can cross COVID-19 off the list by taking a PCR or rapid test.
Types Of Tree Pollen Allergies
Allergy season in Canada for tree pollen allergy sufferers tends to run from March to June. Different trees release their pollen at different times of the year, so it can be helpful knowing which trees trigger a reaction. For example3,4, white oak, bur oak and red maple trees typically release their pollen in March with willow, birch, and ash trees starting in April. Western white pine trees pollinate between June and July, while Eastern white pine trees pollinate between May and June. Douglas Maple, in Western Canada, pollinates in August and September, and Sugar Maples release pollen in September October. If you know which trees set you off, you can be better prepared when the time comes.
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Tips For Dealing With Spring Allergies
Use these simple tips to avoid symptom-triggering pollen and breathe easier this spring:
Know Your Pollen Count
Keep an eye on the daily pollen count for your city. You can use our handy pollen alert tracker in our Learning Center to track your citys daily reports. On days the count is high , stay indoors if possible to keep pollen exposure to a minimum.
Close Your Windows
Although its tempting to open your windows and let fresh spring air indoors, it may not be the best thing for your symptoms. Keep windows and doors closed to avoid letting pollen spores circulate and settle inside your home.
Shower After Spending Time Outside
Take a shower after spending time outdoors to wash pollen out of your hair and keep it from falling onto your pillow.
Use An Air Purifier
Air purifiers, especially those that have HEPA filters, filter even the tiniest pollen spores out of your air along with other symptom triggers like dust, mold, and pet dander. With regular use, you can reduce and even eliminate your symptoms. Browse our air purifiers for allergies to see our top recommended models.
The Most Common Spring Allergies
Flowers bloom in the spring and this has many people believing that flowers are largely responsible for spring allergies. But the truth is that tree and grass pollen are actually the chief culprits. Who even knew grass had pollen?
People tend to be more familiar with ragweed, which becomes most active in the late summer and fall. Many are also allergic to mould, caused by the humidity that spring and summer bring on.
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Common Symptoms Of Allergies Include:
- Rhinitis itchy, runny, or blocked nose
- Incessant sneezing
- Swelling of lips, eyes, hands, or face
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Anti-allergic medication can treat most of these symptoms. Still, you must seek professional assistance early on to determine the cause of your allergies and the best treatment options available.
Rarely, an allergy can cause anaphylaxis, a body-wide severe allergic reaction that can be fatal. The onset of anaphylaxis is within minutes of exposure to an allergen, and if the correct medical aid is not administered swiftly, chances of survival can be bleak.
- Swelling of the throat and mouth
- Difficulty breathing wheezing, gasping for air
- Blue skin or lips
- Collapsing or losing consciousness
If you see someone showing clear signs of anaphylaxis, do not hesitate to properly administer the epi-pen they must have at hand and call for medical assistance.
What Is An Allergy
An allergy is a multifactorial disease with both environmental and hereditary factors. It occurs when the immune system responds to allergens , resulting in an allergic reaction.
In response to allergens, the immune system produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E , releasing chemicals like histamine into the bloodstream. Histamine helps rid the body of allergens, causing symptoms such as sneezing, itching, hives and watery eyes.Allergic rhinitis is a collection of symptoms, predominantly in the nose and eyes, to allergens such as dust, animal dander and pollen. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is one of the most common types of allergy, causing an inflammation of the tissues in the nose, often accompanied by conjunctivitis .
Allergies can impact your daily activities and make you feel easily frustrated and tired, but most cases are mild.
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Ragweed Management And Control
Most ragweed pollen is deposited close to its source, within a radius of 1 km.Note de bas de page 17Note de bas de page 25 Municipal agencies are in the best position to act because of their roles and responsibilities. Municipalities manage 50% of the Quebec road network .Note de bas de page 26 They also manage several sites that are conducive to the establishment of ragweed and can regulate nuisances. These governments also have detailed knowledge of the territory, can influence their local partners and have the necessary equipment to maintain the lands in question, which makes them indispensable. Municipalities therefore play an essential role in ragweed management and control and in its increasing presence in the context of climate change.
How To Treat Spring Allergy Symptoms
- Talk to an expert. Your doctor or allergist can help determine the best strategy for treating your specific symptoms. Options include oral antihistamines like Zyrtec to relieve sneezing and itching, eye drops like Zaditor to relieve redness and itching, nasal steroid sprays like Flonase to reduce inflammation and congestion, and hydrocortisone creams like Cortizone-10 for eczema.
But before you treat your symptoms, look for the signs. Ahead, doctors explain the most commonand perplexingsymptoms of spring allergies, plus how to find some relief.
When pollen is released by an offending plant and makes its way into your nose, your immune system tells your brain to eject it by force. Thats why you cant go five minutes without sneezing when youre outside during spring.
If youre not sure whether youre dealing with allergies or a cold, flu, or COVID-19, keep this in mind: Allergies wont cause the fever, body aches, or extreme exhaustion that come with a virus, Dr. Hui explains.
Spring allergies often cause post-nasal drip, an annoying trickle of mucus from your sinuses into your throat. Well have patients saying, I cough a lot in the morning. When Im lying down, I feel the drip down the back of my throat, Dr. Hui says. That constant drainage can trigger coughing or even a sore throat.
Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
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How To Prepare For Spring Allergies Now
During the late winter, weather throughout Kentucky and Indiana change daily. Giving a signal that the seasonal allergy season is upon us. As temperatures reach above 50 degrees, plants begin to bloom and release pollen into the air. Those with seasonal spring allergies will usually start to see symptoms in early March and last through May. Its important to start preparing for allergies now before pollen reaches peak spring allergy levels.
Anatomy Of An Allergic Reaction
People inherit a certain genetic disposition towards allergies, explains Waserman. So if youve got allergies, youve most likely got your parents to thank for it.
During allergy season, your body has an immune reaction when exposed to different allergens and forms allergy-specific antibodies . These antibodies sit on cells in your eyes, nose, lungs and skin. And the next time you come into contact with a particular allergen, your body reacts by releasing chemicals called histamines, leading to an allergic reaction.
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Why Do Some People Have Allergies
There is a hereditary component to allergies. This means that if an immediate family member has an allergy, you are more likely to have one as well.
Environmental factors are also important. However, some research supports the idea that exposing children to specific germs and microbes in the right environment can decrease their risk of developing allergies.
How Are Seasonal Allergies Treated
There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how bothersome the symptoms are. An important part of treatment is knowing what someone is allergic to. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to the allergens that bother them.
If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning instead of fresh air when possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. It’s also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothes after playing outside.
If reducing exposure isn’t possible or doesn’t help, doctors may recommend medicines for allergy symptoms. These can include oral, nasal, and ocular antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If these don’t help or a child has to take multiple medicines to ease symptoms, the doctor may recommend seeing an allergist. The allergist can decide whether allergy shots could help.
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Understand The Priming Effect
Trees often pick up on the change of season earlier than we do. That means they can start releasing small amounts of pollen before wed ever even suspect that spring is in the air. Once youve been exposed to this early pollen, your immune system is primed to react to all types of outdoor allergens. This means, come springtime, you may suffer from heightened allergy symptoms for a longer period of time.
Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues
Tree pollen allergies tend to last for months, so youll want to ensure you have the softest tissues around your home to comfort your runny nose during allergy season in Canada. Made for extra comfort, our 3-ply Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues provide unbeatable softness for when only the softest touch will do — perfect for soothing your nose every time you need relief. Keep a box of Kleenex® Ultra Soft tissues in the kitchen, living room, office, bathroom and bedroom to make sure the softest comfort for your nose is always at arms reach.
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When Should I Start Taking Allergy Meds
Theres no point in waiting until youre miserable to take allergy meds. In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple of weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you notice symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, she adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds based on where you live.
As for which allergy meds to take, if youre seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr. Keet. And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose too, look for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds.
Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they dont cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.
What Else Can I Do To Prepare For Allergy Season
Even if you’re already taking OTC allergy meds, you may still experience symptoms. So, what then?
Luckily, there are a few other solutions. First, Dr. Ogden recommends consulting with a board-certified allergist who can discover *exactly* what’s causing problems for you. “You need to take proactive steps,” she saysand the easiest way to cut down on symptoms is to find out what’s causing them, so you can avoid them.
Once you know what the culprit is, don’t exercise outside or sleep with your windows open. Both may be tempting once the weather gets warmer, but “you have to isolate yourself from your allergens,” Dr. Ogden says, so embrace the indoors to reduce the chance of having a reaction.
And try to remove allergens once you get home: Take nighttime showers, make sure to shampoo your hair, and wash your face to make sure nothing’s stuck to your eyelashes. “You just want to remove pollen residue,” Dr. Ogden explains. For extra protection, consider investing in an air purifier for your bedroom.
The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment. You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better. So, if you want protection by March, you’ll probably have to start in September the year before.
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Get Your Spring Cleaning Started Early
Sweep out the winter cobwebs and get ahead on your spring cleaning. A deep spring clean includes dusting everything from the light fixtures to the bookcases, washing curtains, sweeping floors and rugs, even vacuuming furniture. This will remove any dust and pollen that has already made its way inside.
If you are out sprucing up the yard, wear a NIOSH 95 mask to reduce the inhalation of allergens. When you are done for the day, be sure to change your clothes and shower. Pollen can stick to your clothes and hair, making it easy to track pollen spores throughout your home.
Coping With Seasonal Allergies
Call them seasonal allergies, hay fever, pollinosis or allergic rhinitis. But dont dismiss them as the sniffles to the millions of people worldwide whose quality of life takes a dive at particular times of the year. Sneezing and a runny nose may be the most obvious symptoms, but pollen allergies can also trigger itchy eyes, a sore throat, coughing, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes and, if left untreated, even asthma attacks. Although seasonal allergies usually begin in childhood, they can develop during any stage of life. Experts warn that climate change may bring a rise in pollen levels and a corresponding increase in misery in the coming years, so here are some strategies to help you cope.
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Why Should You Start Preparing Now
You dont have to wait until you are suffering to do something about your allergies. Whether you make an appointment with an allergist or start taking medication, its important to get ahead of the pollen. Preparing now can help ease your symptoms throughout the season. If youve never been allergy tested now is a great time to do it. Learn what you are allergic to and how to treat it before your symptoms get worse.
Canadian Tree Pollen Allergy Guide
If you didnt already know, allergens can exist in all sizes from tiny microscopic forms to larger particles like pet dander. One of the most common causes of allergies for Canadians is tree pollen. According to the Canadian Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Foundation, as many as one in four people in Canada suffer from seasonal allergies caused by tree pollen 1, so if youre one of them, youre certainly not alone!
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Do You Suffer From Spring Allergies
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Climate Change Might Be Aggravating Canadas Allergy Season But Solutions Are Within Reach
As climate change spurs more pollen across the country, experts are looking for ways to alleviate the allergenic burden on Canadians
A haze hangs over downtown Calgary on July 15, 2021.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Canadians should expect harsher and more widespread allergy seasons this spring and in the coming years as climate change drives temperatures up and induces pollen-generating plants to overproduce though experts say environmental and health policy responses can mitigate the suffering.
In 2021, scientists detected a 21-per-cent increase in pollen levels across North America between 1990 and 2018, boding poorly for the 20 to 25 per cent of Canadians who experience seasonal allergies and the 10 per cent who suffer from asthma. Evidence shows that the rise in severe seasonal allergies and asthma, which are linked to climate-driven pollen increases, could cost Canada millions of dollars in business revenue and health care expenses.
There are ways to adapt to this allergenic assault, experts say, including targeting problematic plant life, providing better pharmacare and mitigating climate change.
But the Canadian case is unique. Data show the allergy season is indeed getting longer in some parts of Canada, though not quite as consistently as other parts of North America. According to Ms. Coates, while pollen production is definitely up owing to CO2, the migrating tree line is also to blame for the problem.
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