Posted May 20, 2021 by Charles A. Zonfa, MD, FACOG | Chief Medical Office
May flowers often aren’t the only thing blooming after April showers. Springtime allergens from tree pollen, grasses and weeds can wreak havoc on your allergies causing severe allergy symptoms.
Typical symptoms include:
The springtime allergy season can run from as early as March through the beginning of June, but it can vary. Warmer days increase plant growth and fertilization; windy days help the pollen spread more easily; and rainy days dampen the spread of pollen. Tree pollen tends to peak in early spring and grass peaks in late spring.
When you breathe in pollen released from trees, grasses and weeds, it can trigger allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. An allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance. Your body produces antibodies and histamines, which cause swelling in the nose and eyes to help stop allergens from entering, and sneezing to release allergens from the nose.
With proper precautions and treatment, however, you can enjoy the outdoors with relief from these annoying allergy symptoms that are synonymous with springtime. The key is to prevent symptoms as best you can and treat those that are inevitable.
Avoiding allergens to prevent symptoms
The best way to deal with springtime allergies is to try to avoid them in the first place, such as:
Treatment for allergy symptoms
There are a range of medications — both over the counter and prescription — to treat allergy symptoms, as well as some home remedies.
When to talk to your doctor
If these treatments aren’t effective and your allergies are affecting your quality of life, it’s time to talk with your doctor to discuss other treatments. Your allergist may recommend allergy shots.
Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy, a long-term solution that helps to desensitize people to their allergies. These shots actually contain a little bit of the allergen, which over the course of months or years, helps teach the body how to handle it better.
Though they require time to work, allergy shots can greatly reduce the severity of your body’s reaction to an allergen, easing symptoms and the amount of medication you depend on.Springtime allergies affect millions of people in this country every year, but you don’t have to suffer through it. There are many treatment options available so you can get back to enjoying the outdoors, especially after a long, dreary winter.