The constant sneezing, running nose, congestion, etc. have just begun with this phase; and you are just one among hundreds of those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Just like other kinds of allergies, when the immune system is not able to grasp the external environmental changes and ends up overreacting to the outdoor allergens during spring, summer or fall, it leads to seasonal allergies i.e allergic rhinitis, or in layman’s terms hay fever. One can experience seasonal allergies in more than one season which can also be determined by where you live.
How can I get my allergy diagnosed?
While there might not be any certain treatment for such seasonal allergies, one can consult with the doctor for ease with the bothersome symptoms. If the symptoms are troublesome, the doctor might refer to an allergy test for better treatment. They will check the nose, ears, or throat. The allergy specialist can also conduct a skin test by pricking the surface of the skin with the allergen to understand the allergy and the cause, or may also order a blood test. Another resource to find out the cause of the suffering can be to opt for some of the best health checkup packages. Though the best cure would be to avoid contact with allergens that can be triggering, it may not always be possible. While there are certain medications such as over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines or nasal sprays available for the cure, you can also get a health check-up done, the price for full medical checkup has now become affordable too.
Some people may develop allergies to specific food items too. Book an allergy test- Food panel here.
Symptoms to watch out for
While a few may suffer from mild symptoms, some others can have severe allergic reactions, a few common ones include:
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Constant sneezing
- Runny nose
- Itchy throat or ear canals
Sometimes headache, wheezing and coughing or the formation of dark circles under the eye can also be the signs of allergic reactions.
Causes behind seasonal allergies
While we now know the symptoms to watch for, it is also important to understand what might be causing these. Symptoms of seasonal allergies vary from one season to another just like their triggers. We catch allergies when the immune system takes an airborne particle to be dangerous; in order to prevent and respond to the particle, the body system releases chemicals called histamines in the bloodstream which are said to produce the symptoms of allergy. So when the pollens or tiny dust particles or grains are present in the air, the body’s defence mechanism goes for a toss, thereby giving itchy throat, runny nose, watery eyes, etc.
While in the summer season, the hay cuttings and grasses are responsible, in fall, the plants drop their pollen, the leaves shed, making it one of the worst seasons for allergic sensitive people. Winter comes as a respite for such people unless they also react to dust mites, mould, cockroaches, etc. staying indoors. Pollen is found highest during the morning, whereas trees, grass, and ragweed pollen are more common during warmer days or colder nights. They increase when the day is windy. Apart from pollen, grass, mould, smoke, insect bites or sting, chlorine in swimming pools, etc. can also cause allergies.
What treatments work?
In case of mild symptoms, one can also take precautionary basic steps, such as using air purifiers, staying indoors, keeping the windows covered, wearing a mask or scarf when stepping outside etc.
The year-round allergic rhinitis can best be treated by avoiding getting in contact with the allergens as much as possible. If you are unable to avoid such allergens, there are other cures available such as going for over-the-counter medicines as mentioned, in severe cases; however, the expert may suggest allergy shots, which are basically immunotherapy to desensitize the immune system to these foreign particles. While the treatment works, most often these unnatural ways can have side effects such as dizziness, confusion, or drowsiness throughout the day. Some other effective steps can be-
- Stay indoors in the peak allergies season: You can take precautionary medicines to ease the symptoms, or if possible best would be to stay indoors.
- Avoid triggers: Wearing a mask if venturing outside works; avoid mowing lawns or other gardening activities. The best time to venture outside is after rains when the pollen from the air is clean, and the worst time is during the early morning when the pollen counts are highest.
- Maintain clean indoors: If you have forced temperature maintenance in your house, like air heating or cooling, it is advisable to use high-efficiency filters and call for regular maintenance and cleaning of these. Using a highly efficient particulate air filter in the bedroom and cleaning the house with a vacuum equipped with this HEPA filter also works.
- Cure for the itchy and runny nose: A quick cure to get rid of the nasal congestion is to rinse it with saline solution. This inexpensive cure can help get rid of the mucus and allergens from the nose, thus giving it relief from the constant itches and irritation.
- A few not-so-common natural remedies: Also include quercetin, a nutrient that can be found in onions, apples, and black tea that is effective in blocking histamines. Another cure is stinging nettle leaves, using dried and cold leaves for treating allergies and calming the affected area, while some also suggest going for acupuncture, though little evidence is there that supports the same, nonetheless these are all inexpensive and harmless treatments that can be opted for carefully.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies can be irritating and uncomfortable. While much of these can be avoided, visiting and taking an expert’s opinion never hurts, they will help chart out the correct treatment plan and point out effective steps that can help ease the allergy and provide relief. There might not be any permanent solution, but these allergies can certainly be curbed following prescribed medications or home remedies as needed.