How to Deal with Spring Allergy Symptoms
It’s finally springtime, and that means blossoming flowers, and longer, warmer days. But that’s not all, this time of year is also notorious for causing unwelcome seasonal allergy symptoms that affect more than 50 million Americans each year. While some people are more severely affected than others by these symptoms, the reality is that no matter how severe, those dreaded spring allergy symptoms start impacting some people as early as February. So, what’s the big explanation behind why allergies affect us so much and what can we do to deal with them in the best way possible? Let’s dive right in to find out.
While seasonal or ‘spring allergies’ are generalized terms for different allergic reactions that people suffer from during the springtime, the biggest factor for triggering most people’s allergic symptoms is the spike in the amount of pollen released in the air by trees, grasses, and weeds.
Let’s take a closer look at each in the breakdown below:
Trees – A few of the most symptom-triggering tree species include oak, elm, ash, birch, maple, hazel, and hickory.
Grasses – For instance Johnson grass, Kentucky bluegrass, timothy grass, Bermuda grass, redtop grass, orchard grass, and sweet vernal grass.
Weeds – Including ragweeds - like marsh-elder, feverfew, dog fennel, chamomile, as well as sagebrush, tumbleweed, and orchard grass.
Windy days seem to be the worst for those who suffer from spring allergy symptoms because of just how much pollen is circulating through the air. Here’s a look at some of the most common spring allergy symptoms.
(Make sure you’re not confusing allergy symptoms with cold symptoms.)
- Itchy eyes & nose
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
While ultimately getting rid of allergy symptoms isn’t very likely, you can resort to over-the-counter medications to help provide relief for the most troublesome symptoms like itchy eyes, watery nose, and, sneezing.
A few of the most common medications include:
- Decongestants: Alleviate nasal congestion and swelling
- Antihistamines: Relieve itchy & watery eyes (Claritin, Benadryl, Zyrtec)
- Nasal sprays: Improve ability to breathe by minimizing the swelling in nasal tissues
- Eye drops: Provide quick relief from itchy eyes
One more thing to keep in mind: while many spring allergy sufferers choose to start taking antihistamine medications after the symptoms start appearing and affecting their daily lives, many doctors recommend taking them before allergy season begins. Beginning the treatment beforehand will help provide a stronger defense for the body by the time those symptoms start appearing.
Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
For those who suffer severe allergy symptoms during the spring and don’t get enough relief from medications like antihistamines and decongestants, another alternative is immunotherapy or allergy shots. (Users can also opt for immunotherapy via tablets that dissolve under the tongue, also known as sublingual immunotherapy.)
How does immunotherapy work?
According to the Mayo Clinic, immunotherapy allergy shots are given at regular intervals over a period of 3 to 5 years to stop or reduce the allergy attacks. Each allergy shot contains a tiny amount of the specific substance or substances that trigger your allergic reactions. Over time, your doctor increases the dose of allergens in each of your allergy shots, which helps get your body get used to the allergens.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Besides the typical over-the-counter and immunotherapy treatments available for those who suffer from spring allergies, let’s not forget about the best lifestyle habits to practice, while allergy season is at its worst. For instance, vacuuming and dusting frequently, as well as running an air cleaner or purifier, can help reduce the amount of pollen in the living spaces. Limiting your time outdoors and even trying herbal remedies may help as well. Web MD mentions butterbur extract as a promising remedy for allergy symptoms. However, more research is needed, as the potential long-term side effects are unknown.
Making an effort to adapt your lifestyle to your specific health-related needs is important, is protecting your family in case the unexpected happens. Investing in a safety net for your loved ones with the right life insurance coverage has never been easier. Call us at 1-800-INFINITY or get a free online quote today.
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