It's the first official day of SPRING! Temperatures are warming as the sun is shining, trees have started budding, and flowers have started blooming... hallmarks of the spring season at hand. However, they are also hallmarks of “allergy season.”
Even as flu season seems to fade behind us, warmer temperatures which herald springtime may herald allergies for many as well. Sneezing, itching, watering eyes, sinus pain, and other such pesky symptoms, sometimes related to what’s commonly termed as “hay fever,” can become most annoying during the spring season – often leading to it being called “allergy season.” In reality, however, there isn’t just one specific season when everyone’s allergies flare up collectively.
Tree pollen season, which usually begins in late February or early March, may run through May, followed and compounded by grass season which can last through July. Even the fall months, starting with August, can take their toll via mold spores and ragweed, which roughly lasts until November. Additionally, some allergies could be perennial and actually last all the time, regardless of the season. Year-round allergies can be triggered by insects like dust mites and cockroaches, or animals like cats and dogs.
Whatever the trigger for an allergy, the body’s response is generally the same. Whenever it recognizes something “potentially harmful” to you it creates an immune response – which can lead to classic allergy symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, or itchy eyes.
While you may not be able to prevent exposure to some of what triggers allergies, various medical therapies can be helpful in reducing symptoms or desensitizing your body to allergens. As examples, antihistamines (which come in many forms) can help block your body's immune overreaction, or perhaps steroid sprays or decongestants in oral or nasal forms could help you fight those sniffles. It's just important to FIRST know what’s causing your symptoms, and identify the triggers before determining the best way to ward off or treat them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year. So, if you feel like “allergy season” is upon you, you're not alone –and you don't have to suffer in silence. Come see us, talk with us about it, and let us help. Our Express Care team of experts are here for you.