Seasonal Allergies

5 Signs of Seasonal Allergies

Allergy symptoms can sometimes be so subtle we’re not sure if they are seasonal reactions to allergens or temporary dust in the air. Seasonal allergies afflict millions of people in the U.S., many of who do not recognize the fact they are struggling with allergy symptoms, which are treatable. Instead, they sniffle, cough, sneeze, and blow their noses continuously without giving the source of the symptoms much thought. Anyone experiencing frequent, unexplained symptoms like these should consider whether they may be suffering from seasonal allergies.

Seasonal Allergies

Although some allergies are chronic, with symptoms appearing randomly or chronically year-round, certain allergenic symptoms occur only at certain times of the year. Some people suffer from springtime allergies when plants blossom and pollen counts rise. Others struggle with autumn symptoms as foliage begins to get moldy and die. Winter allergy symptoms become noticeable when sufferers are homebound with the house or office generally closed up, limiting air circulation, so that they breathe recirculating air that contains allergens like dust, mold, or pet dander. With springtime allergies the most common, here are some general signs to watch for and note if you think you are developing a seasonal allergy.

Spring Weather

Springtime is the growing season. Frequent rain interspersed with warm, sunny days brings plants and trees to life. Unfortunately, allergy symptoms come alive, too, with people reporting heightened nasal congestion, sneezing bouts, and drippy sinuses – either runny noses or postnasal drip. Other symptoms may include itchy, watery eyes, congested ears, and headaches. As winter ebbs and spring commences, allergy signs may start to appear. Keep tabs on which symptoms appear, and how often, to try and identify a seasonal pattern.

Pollen

As green foliage blossoms on the trees, shrubs, and flowers, pollen counts begin to increase, attracting insects and birds that spread it around the region. This is one of the worst culprits for springtime allergies. Experts advise staying indoors especially in the morning when levels are highest. It also helps to shower daily, including hair washing, to remove plant particles that collect on each of us outdoors. Changing clothes when coming inside is another strategy to limit reactions. Pets that are both indoors and outdoors should be bathed frequently to remove the tiny foliage debris. Keeping windows closed can also restrict access to the home. Eventually, as the season progresses, counts will fall, and allergy sufferers will be able to enjoy the outdoors to a greater degree.

Grass and Plants

People can be allergic to various types of grass, trees, or plants. They might be fine with maple trees but react to pines, for example. Trees and other foliage to which a person is allergic, or that may be a suspected allergen, should be trimmed back away from the house and perhaps off the property. People with this type of allergy should avoid the plants or trees that are suspected of causing possible reactions. Outside activities may need to take place on the porch rather than on the grass or under a favorite shady tree.

Keeping notes about symptoms as they occur, including, when, where, frequency, and duration, can be very helpful in determining possible allergens and avoiding them. If symptoms occur only or primarily during a certain time of year, they are most likely characteristic of a seasonal allergy. The good news is that it can be treated with over-the-counter medicine, and symptoms will soon diminish as one season blends into the next.