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Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal Allergy Sufferers. Millions of people around the world suffer from seasonal allergies. These allergies often present themselves as sneezing, coughing, congestion, etc. Many people use the more informal term ‘hay fever’ to describe these allergies. The medical term used to describe these allergic reactions is seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Seasonal allergies can develop at any age, but the majority of people are diagnosed either in childhood or early adulthood. As people age, the symptoms usually lessen. Up to 30 percent of people worldwide suffer from symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.

Symptoms include itchy eyes, itchy throat, itchy nose, congestion, coughing and sneezing. Headaches, postnasal drip, sinus pain, fatigue, and asthma may also be experienced by the sufferer. The triggered reaction is due to an environmental change whereby tree and plants release pollen into the air. These symptoms tend to present themselves in Spring and may last until as late as Summer/early Fall.

Many of the aforementioned symptoms are part of the body’s immune response to protect the delicate respiratory system from external invaders. The antibodies that the sufferer’s body produces succeed at keeping the foreign invaders at bay, but at the same time cause the allergic reactions.

What Do Seasonal Allergies mean for you?

Seasonal allergies can be a real frustration. Sufferers may find the symptoms irritating and, in some cases, even exhausting. If left untreated, it can result in severe snoring, sleep apnea, and ongoing fatigue. These in turn may result in a negative impact on your day to day life and personal well being. There are a number of things you can do so help limit seasonal allergy symptoms.

Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers. Taking practical steps can help lessen your symptoms. For example, avoid garden maintenance activities such as lawn mowing, planting, pruning, etc. Avoiding hanging laundry outside to dry and staying indoors when it is windy can also help.

Take added measures when pollen counts are high. Check the internet or listen to your local radio to know when pollen counts are high. Avoid being outdoors in the early morning when pollen counts are at their highest and make sure to close doors and windows at night.

Keep your indoor air clean. Vacuum floors regularly with a vacuum that has a HEPA (high- efficiency particulate arrestance) filter, keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier, use the air conditioning in your house and car.

If you or your child experience ongoing seasonal allergy symptoms speak to your doctor. He/she will ask about the symptoms, their severity, and their frequency to establish likely triggers. He/she will also conduct a physical examination. Most symptoms can be treated using practical measures, or using seasonal allergy medication when reducing exposure to the risks is not possible.

If pollen exposure reduction and medication do not help, you doctor may refer you/your child to an allergist or immunologist to be evaluated for allergy shots (immunotherapy). This treatment can help desensitize a sufferer to certain allergens.

 


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