As the weather warms up, trees, plants, and weeds start to bloom and they release spores into the air. Incidentally, this coincides with people spending more time outdoors.
On windy days these spores can travel far. They can even enter buildings through doors, windows, and clothing.
When an allergic person comes into contact with these spores their immune system tries to rid the body of the substance. It does this by releasing antibodies to attack the spores. It also releases Histamines, which is the chemical behind symptoms like running nose, itchy or watery eyes and sneezing.
Experts have said that an average of 1 in 5 people suffer from seasonal allergies. They also warn that the body can develop an allergy as an adult. So, even if you have never had allergies before, your body can still react if it is exposed to something new.
Some other common allergens include dust mites, pet dander, and mold, which can be found indoors as well as outside.
One of the best things a patient can do is get an allergy test to determine what is causing the immune system to over-react. This simple skin test can help determine what allergens you will need to avoid.
Most doctors advise allergy sufferers to limit exposure to the spores by keeping windows and doors shut in homes and vehicles. They also recommend limiting time spent outside, not to dry clothes outdoors, and to use air filters.
There is a pollen report maintained by The Weather Network. This list can help those with certain allergies to take precautions when the pollen is in their area.
Some experts also advise taking allergy medicine before symptoms start in order to avoid suffering through the season.
Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States recommend medication three months prior to the allergy season.
For those who have extreme allergic reactions, immunotherapy is available. It is the closest thing to a cure that researchers have found.
This treatment involves several needles for those who are not able to avoid the allergen in their day-to-day life. The shots introduce the allergen to the body in small doses. Over time the doses increase with the expectation that the body’s system will become less sensitive to the allergen.
Avoiding the allergen is the best way for sufferers to manage their symptoms. For those who cannot avoid it, there is medication and even immunotherapy available to help.
Although spring can trigger sneezing, watery eyes and other irritating symptoms there is a way to enjoy the season without locking yourself away.