When spring rolls around do you get itchy or runny eyes or nose? Do you sneeze or cough more than usual? If so, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies. These develop when your body’s immune system becomes sensitive and then overreacts to something in the environment. Generally, spring allergies last from February to June but can continue longer due to excessive rainfall leading to rapid plant growth and higher pollen counts. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAII), grass, pollen, and mold are the most common triggers of season allergies. President of ACAII, Richard Weber, MD, stressed the importance of taking your allergies seriously saying, “Relief might seem impossible as allergy counts soar, but by knowing what triggers symptoms and how to avoid these allergens, sufferers can lead healthy, active lifestyles with minimal side effects. Although symptoms may not always be severe, seasonal allergies are a serious condition that should be properly diagnosed and treated.”
While there is not a cure for spring allergies, there are ways to prevent them from getting out of control. First, if you think you may be suffering from seasonal allergies, see an allergist. They can find the source of your allergies so you can avoid what is causing the symptoms. They will also prescribe you medication that will keep your symptoms at bay. They’ll also advise you of local pollen count websites (like on our home page!) Don’t wait to take this step because allergists suggest that you begin medication two weeks before your symptoms usually occur! Second, look into immunotherapy (allergy shots). These shots may be the most effective way to treat allergy symptoms. Lastly, you can work to control your environment. Keep your windows and doors closed, house clean, and hands and clothes washed!