Spring is a lovely season full of bright green lawns, beautiful blooms and lovely floral scents. But for people with springtime allergies, it can also entail itchy, watery eyes, congestion, sneezing and a scratchy throat. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prepare for spring allergies so you can enjoy the beauty around you without the unpleasant side effects.
What Causes Spring Allergies?
People who have hay fever – another term for springtime allergies – react to airborne allergens like tree pollen, which starts in February, and grass pollen, which starts around May.
Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system mistakes a harmless substance like pollen as a dangerous intruder. When this happens, the immune system produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which triggers your cells to release histamine. Histamine is what increases mucus production and causes swelling and itching.
What Are the Symptoms of Spring Allergies?
Spring allergy symptoms tend to be localized to the eyes and upper respiratory system, including:
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
- Sinus congestion
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Postnasal drip
Preparing for Spring Allergies
In order to prevent the symptoms listed above, it’s important to be prepared. We recommend taking the following steps.
Over-the-counter antihistamines nasal steroid sprays are an effective treatment option for many. These medications can not only help reduce or stop an allergic reaction while it’s happening, they can prevent one from occurring in the first place. This is why we suggest starting your allergy meds about two weeks before you usually start showing symptoms.
Do Your Spring Cleaning
Deep clean your home to remove any dust or pollen that’s already inside. This way, once allergy season is in full swing, you’ll have a safe allergy-free zone. Be sure to dust light fixtures and trim boards, wash curtains and blinds, and vacuum furniture and forgotten corners.
Track Pollen Levels
You can track pollen counts online so that you can avoid going outside or opening windows during times of day when you’ll be exposed.
See an Allergist
If your allergies are not well-managed by avoiding allergens or taking over-the-counter medications, schedule an appointment with an allergist. An allergy expert can perform an allergy test to identify your exact triggers and start you on immunotherapy for long-term relief, so you can enjoy your child’s baseball or softball games at Atlanta High School without worrying about an allergy attack.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call ENT of Georgia today.