Quick Guide to Spring Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, and Tips

Quick Guide to Spring Allergies: Symptoms, Causes, and Tips

Spring Allergies Guide

As one of the most popular seasons of the year, spring brings warmer temperatures, outdoor activities, and an explosion of plant life, transforming the cold world of winter into a natural paradise. Regardless, if you suffer from springtime seasonal allergies, this time of the year can also provoke symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. Fortunately, you can take steps to relieve your discomfort and start appreciating spring’s glory. If you experience seasonal allergies, you’re not alone; over 20 million people in the U.S. have some form of allergy. Some people are allergic to multiple types of pollen and even suffer from allergies throughout numerous seasons of the year. To help you get through the worst of the season, we have put together this handy spring allergies guide covering the common causes and remedies for seasonal allergies.

Spring Allergies Guide: How Allergies Happen

Allergy attacks happen when certain people’s immune systems encounter proteins, known as allergens, that their bodies treat as an invading contaminants. This two-step process starts with exposure and leads to the reaction, commonly called an attack. During the first encounter, the body will create antibodies that attach to various cells, create sensitization to that exact allergen, and react every other time it is encountered. This attack results in the body producing histamines that can cause a host of unpleasant reactions like coughing, sneezing, rashes, and more.

Common Seasonal Allergies

Pollen

Many types of green plants and foliage use pollen to reproduce. The type of pollen used by flowers to attract bees is too large to cause many issues, except for those specifically allergic to them. However, the pollen found on weeds, grasses, and trees is much smaller and can be carried by the wind over much larger areas. Trees are typically the first plants in spring to produce pollen and reach their peak by early summer. This is just in time for the grasses and weeds to start making pollen in earnest.

Fungus and Molds

Wherever you find decomposing material, you will find some form of mold or fungus to consume it. While the spores of these organisms are dormant in cold weather, they wake up with a considerable appetite in the spring. Mold and fungus spores can drift for miles in the wind, especially when it’s dry. Mold can also grow and reproduce indoors; mold and fungus can thrive in any place where moisture is allowed to collect.

Animal Dandruff and Dust

Another side effect of spring is the tendency for hairy animals to shed their thick winter coats, getting ready to beat the approaching heat of summer. Anyone allergic to animal dandruff and hair needs to watch out for potential exposure as the fur flies. This is also true when it comes to spring cleaning, dust accumulation over the colder months can build up to dangerous levels for people allergic to dust.

Mites and Insect Stings

While most allergy attacks usually consist of sneezing, coughing, and congestion, allergy symptoms from insect allergies can be much more severe. The lower end of sensitivity is typically reported as itchiness, redness, swelling, and pain where contact occurs. The highly sensitive are at risk for anaphylaxis shock resulting in injury or death. While most people think of bees, wasps, and mosquitos as the main culprits, allergy sufferers can also react to tiny insects such as mites and bedbugs.

Spring Allergies Guide: Helpful Tips and Remedies

Check with Your Doctor

Many people have had to learn that as we age and change throughout our lives, our sensitivities to allergens can change. This change can go both ways; some women have been diagnosed will allergies after a challenging pregnancy, and others have found that repeated exposure to things like pet dandruff has become less sensitive. Having a current allergy test before the season can go a long way to help you plan how to deal with them.

Checking Reports and Forecasts

Over the years, accuracy and access have come a very long way. What started as information only printed in almanacs and then reported daily on television and evolved into an on-demand alert system thanks to cell phones and the internet. Today things like pollen counts and allergen forecasts have taken the guesswork out of figuring out environmental conditions for whatever you are allergic to.

Avoidance Tactics

One popular strategy is to try to steer clear of allergens in the first place. Staying indoors during high allergen counts can work; make sure to have a good air filtration with a Hepa filter to clean out any contaminants that make it inside. Washing up after being outdoors can also help; changing clothes or taking a shower will remove any allergens you may have brought back. You may want to give thought to hiring landscapers to avoid yard work; many schedule them to arrive when they are not home so they can get away completely.

Medications and Home Remedies

Of course, even with the best plans, things can go wrong. Unexpected events and sudden exposures will happen; the best approach is to have any medication you may need on hand. Whether it’s antihistamines or an EpiPen, having the correct remedy is vital for treatment in case of contact with any allergens. This is also true if you prefer home remedies; for example, many allergic to pollen swear by the use of local honey to help mitigate histamine reactions to local plants.

Knowing the causes and signs of seasonal allergies will go a long way to help you have a great spring. But if things have changed or your symptoms are worse than expected, be sure to speak with a doctor or allergy specialist to help you find solutions for your spring allergies.

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