Seasonal Pollen Allergy: Signs, Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A seasonal allergy refers to an allergic reaction to pollen during spring and summer season. During these seasons, flowers and trees disperse pollen into the air. Some people are sensitive to such irritants.  For those allergic to pollen, their immune system is reactive to any allergen. When exposure occurs, the body will attack the irritant. This triggers the release of histamines in the body. Histamine is a compound that causes all the quintessential hay fever symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Allergy

Also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergy symptoms include wheezing, sneezing and nasal congestion. It also causes itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, hives, and coughing. Other symptoms include irritability, inflammation, and itchy throat.

Treating Seasonal Pollen Allergy

There are many medications that will ease symptoms of seasonal pollen allergy. These medications include:

Anti-Histamines

As the name suggests, antihistamines will suppress the release of histamines in the body. This medication will reduce itching, sneezing and watery eyes. However, most anti-histamines will make you drowsy so keep this in mind before taking this medication.

Decongestants

Decongestants offer temporary relief from nasal stuffiness, cough or similar symptoms. These decongestants include nasal sprays and pseudoephedrine.  Do note that the nasal spray is only effective if you use it before the symptoms start, not when it’s full-blown.

Combined Medications

In severe cases of allergy, combining antihistamines with decongestant works to ease severe allergic symptoms.

Ways to Prevent Seasonal Allergy

It’s important to pollen-proof your home before spring comes. This will reduce your exposure to the elements.

Keep the Windows and Doors Closed at All Times

Always keep the windows, doors or any opening in your home closed shut during spring and summer season. This will keep allergens from invading your home.

Maintain the Lawn

Have someone mow your lawn. Delegate all gardening chores to someone during the summer and spring season to prevent allergic reaction to pollen.

Stay Indoors During Dry, Windy Days

Again, you want to minimize exposure to allergens so during very windy, dry days, stay indoors. The best times to be out is after a rain. Rain will help bring down pollen from the air. This minimizes inhalation. We recommend tuning into your local TV or radio station to check for pollen forecasts. And if you must venture outside, make sure you wear a dust mask.

Never Hang Your Clothes to Dry Outside

Pollen will cling to damp sheets and clothing. So avoid hanging your clothes to dry outside to reduce pollen exposure.

Avoid Early Morning Activities

The highest chance of pollen allergy is early morning exposure. So if you have something to do, do it later in the day. But if you have to go out, use a dust mask and take your medication.

Improving Air Quality

If you keep opening the windows in your home to let the breeze in, use the air conditioning instead. If this is not possible, keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will weigh down irritants to prevent inhalation. You can also use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom to keep the air clean.


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