Ahhh! Spring is finally here! After a long and cold winter, everyone is in their glory with the sunshine and warm weather. But with spring also comes seasonal allergies complete with the miserable sneezing, itching and sniffling.
So what are seasonal allergies exactly? Well, according to Allergies.about.com, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is only around for certain seasons of the year. Such triggers can include pollen from trees, weeds and grasses. There are also perennial allergies that include triggers such as pet dander or molds.
More specifically, spring allergies are the result of pollen from trees that usually starts anywhere from January to April. Trees that commonly cause allergies include oak, olive, elm, birch, ash, sycamore, maple and walnut. These pollens are tiny egg-shaped powdery grains released from flowering plants and are carried by wind or insects. When pollen is in the air it can land in a person’s eyes, nose, lungs and skin causing allergic reactions.
Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of season allergies. This pollen travels long distances and the levels that are in the air vary from day to day. Pollen levels can also vary between different geographic regions and depending on what time of day it is. Pollen is considered highest in the morning from 5 to 10 a.m.
Anybody who suffers from allergies probably knows immediately when their allergies have kicked it into high gear in the spring. However, most seasonal allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and an itchy nose.
There are ways to avoid pollen exposure, however, including:
Keeping windows closed to prevent pollen from drifting into your home
Minimizing early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted — between 5-10 a.m.
Keeping car windows closed when traveling.
Staying indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.
Traveling to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea.
Avoiding mowing the lawn and freshly cut grass.
Machine-dry your bedding and clothing. Pollen may collect in laundry if it is hung outside to dry.