Seasonal Allergies: An Overview

 Seasonal Allergies: An Overview

Allergies occurring particularly in a season such as a springtime or summer-fall are called seasonal allergies. It happens when an individual receives a stimulus from an external factor such as pollens or molds that are not present previously in other seasons. Not everyone reacts to this particular condition but those do, who are sensitive to such factors, will show symptoms.

An allergen, such as pollen grains and molds, appears during a season when it is the pollination time for plants. It is like any other allergies triggered due to an external factor. The wind carries these allergens and individuals sensitive to them inhale and trigger an allergic reaction.

Seasonal allergies are common during the spring and summer-fall season. Although, experts suggest that a person can suffer from allergic rhinitis throughout a year depending on the cause of the reaction. It can also happen due to allergens present indoors such as dander, suspended particles, and dust.

Causes of seasonal allergies

When an airborne allergen or allergy-inducing substance enters your nasopharyngeal cavity, your immunity system immediately recognizes it as a threat and induces sneezing or coughing to get it out of the system. In most cases, it is absolutely harmless. The physiological system is programmed to react to any foreign substance entering in this way. The histamine level increases in our system triggering certain reactions that we conclude as allergies. In fact, these are the biochemicals in our blood system, when reaching a particular level, produce such symptoms such as sneezing, nasal blockage, sore throat, fever, etc.

The causes of seasonal allergies are listed below as per the seasonal activities.

  • Summer

Also known as hay fever, seasonal allergies have got this name as it occurred during the hay-cutting time of the year. Summer is the time when grasses grow very fast and pollinate. In fact, certain species of weeds also grow faster during this season spreading pollens everywhere. These grass and weed pollens are the prime reason for seasonal allergies.

  • Spring

During this time of the year, many big trees are responsible for spreading hay fever. Birch is considered as a common cause for hay fever in the higher latitude countries. Its pollen causes allergic reactions to the sensitive population. Other species responsible for their pollen reaction are willow, poplar, alder, cedar, horse chestnut, etc.

  • Fall

Autumn is also considered as the ragweed season. Ragweed has more than 40 identified species in the entire world. It grows exceptionally during the fall season in the temperate zones of South and North America. In fact, the aggressive pollination of this plant is not easy to control. It produces a common allergen causing severe allergic reactions. The other contributors in this season are plantains, fat hens, mugworts, nettles, sorrels, etc

  • Winter

During the winter season, allergens become dormant as the plant species do not spend energy in producing a massive volume of pollens. The allergic reactions occurring during the winter Allergies normally happen due to indoor allergens. Pet dander, mold, cockroaches, dust mites, etc are the prime reasons for allergic reactions indoors.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies

The common symptoms of seasonal allergies are:

  • runny nose or stuffy nasal passage
  • sneezing
  • itchy and watery eyes
  • itchy sinus, ear canals, and throat
  • congestion in the ear canal
  • Postnasal drip or drainage

These symptoms are triggered by an increased level of histamines in our blood system. It is a protective measure taken by our immunity system to keep our noses running and protected from allergens lurking in the air. These common symptoms can be used to diagnose allergic rhinitis.

A few uncommon yet possible symptoms that we should not ignore are mentioned below.

  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • wheezing
  • coughing

As you can see, the less common symptoms are related to an allergic reaction causing the reduction of bronchial space triggering wheezing and cough. In fact, it can also trigger an asthma attack. People suffering from asthma need to be very protective and cautious during these seasons.

Read – What are the main causes and symptoms of allergic asthma?

Treatment of seasonal allergies

Those who suffer from seasonal allergies must be very cautious. As per the experts, it is better to stay away from the allergen-producing sources. In fact, patients suffering from allergic rhinitis throughout a year must stay away from such external conditions.

Here are the proposed treatment and precautionary measures one can take to avoid seasonal allergies happening over and over.

  • Avoiding external factors

Seasonal allergies can happen when someone steps out. It happens when a person is extremely sensitive to something commonly floats around us. For instance, dust allergy or pollen allergy is hard to avoid especially when you are residing in a city or close to nature. It s better to stay inside and keep the windows closed. Limit yourself from going on outdoor ventures unless it’s extremely necessary. Always wear a mask to stop pollutants and dust entering your nasal passage. Smoking can increase the occurrence of allergic reactions too.

  • Medications

Allergens are invisible allergy-triggering external bodies that you cannot stop from entering your home or your system. This is why most of the sensitive people always keep medications handy. The best over-the-counter medications for tackling allergic reactions are antihistamines and decongestants. The most common medicine that everyone suffering from an allergic reaction uses is cetirizine. When allergic reactions are severe, doctors prescribe steroidal sprays for relieving your nasal blockage and clearing out your breathing issues. It should be taken under proper medical guidance.

  • Alternative measures

Consuming vitamin C can be very helpful when it comes to treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis. In fact, consuming yogurt containing a friendly bacterium genus, lactobacillus, can also alleviate the conditions.

Verdict

The symptoms are very comfortable and can ruin your entire day. Consider checking the symptoms first and then seek medical attention for diagnosing the cause. Maintain the precautions mentioned above if you are diagnosed with seasonal allergies.

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