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Do You Have a Seasonal Allergy?


Seasonal allergies are most common during the warmer months of spring, summer and fall when the number of plants, grasses and trees that are budding and blooming is much higher. The concentration of pollens in the air is high and you're also outside more enjoying the warm weather, thus increasing your exposure to these pollens. Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system reacts vigorously to air-borne allergens by releasing histamine and other substances that cause swelling and irritation.

What Are The Symptoms?

The classic symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and eyes that are itchy, swollen, red and watery. You may also experience an itchy throat, post-nasal drainage and cough.

If you have persistent pain or develop a fever, there may be a bacterial infection that has developed as a secondary complication from the swelling and obstruction. In this case, a visit to our clinic is strongly recommended.

Seasonal vs. Perennial Allergies

Not all allergies are seasonal. Some are perennial, or year-round. Perennial allergens may be found inside the home, including dust mites, animal hair or dander, and mold. These allergens can be reduced with vacuuming, cleaning, and using protective covers for upholstery and bedding. Some people have both seasonal and perennial allergies.

How Are Seasonal Allergies Treated?

A number of over-the-counter medications (mostly antihistamines and decongestants) are available to provide relief for sufferers of seasonal allergies, although they do have potential side effects.

Some natural substances have an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory effect and are useful for seasonal allergies. They include vitamins C and B complex, tyrosine, quercetin, stinging nettles, curcumin, and other herbs containing bioflavonoids. An antioxidant formula may also be helpful.

If you have symptoms of a seasonal allergy, and want to avoid the possible side effects of medications, call our clinic for our seasonal allergy supplement recommendations.

Self Help Strategies

Reduction of exposure to pollens or other air-borne allergens is very important; try to stay away from areas where the allergen is present. During allergy season, it is often helpful to use the air conditioner to keep cool, so that you can sleep with your windows closed or drive with your windows closed and thus reduce your exposure to allergens. Removing or cleaning "allergen traps" (such as carpets or drapes) and changing air filters regularly can be beneficial. Use of an air ionizer will decrease the number of particles in the air and may also provide some relief.

Regular nasal irrigation with a saline (salt water) solution is helpful. Flushing the nasal passages with a saline nasal spray two, three or more times daily reduces the irritating effect of allergens in the mucus membranes of the nose. Similarly, rinsing your eyes with artificial tears can reduce allergic eye symptoms.

If allergy symptoms persist, be sure to call one of our clinics for assistance. It's possible that you have other allergies (environmental or food) or a chronic disease that is also causing inflammation. Your "total load" of inflammation may be exacerbating your seasonal allergy. We will help you to identify and deal with all the factors that are causing your allergy.