Although there is no magical cure for spring allergies, there are a number
of ways to combat them, from medication to household habits.
Need some allergy relief? If you have allergies, you know that you can run,
but you can't hide from seasonal pollen. With the first deep breath of spring,
more than 50 million Americans begin their nearly year-round symptoms of
sneezing, wheezing, coughing, snorting, and itching. And millions of allergy
sufferers seek allergy relief in prescription medications that cost $6 billion
dollars per year worldwide.
The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen—tiny grains released into
the air by trees, grasses, and weeds for the purpose of fertilizing other
plants. When pollen grains get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they
send the immune system into overdrive.
The immune system, mistakenly seeing the pollen as foreign invaders,
releases antibodies—substances that normally identify and attack bacteria,
viruses, and other illness-causing organisms. The antibodies attack the
allergens, which leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the
blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of
Pollen can travel for miles, spreading a path of misery for allergy
sufferers along the way. The higher the pollen count, the greater the misery.
The pollen count measures the amount of allergens in the air in grains per
cubic meter. You can find out the daily pollen count in your area by watching
your local weather forecast or by visiting the NAB: Pollen and Mold Counts
page on the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s website.
Allergy symptoms tend to be particularly high on breezy days when the wind
picks up pollen and carries it through the air. Rainy days, on the other hand,
cause a drop in the pollen counts because the rain washes away the allergens.
The symptoms of spring allergies include: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing,
coughing, itchy eyes and nose, and dark circles under the eyes.
Airborne allergens also can trigger asthma, a condition in which the
airways narrow, making breathing difficult and leading to coughing, wheezing,
and shortness of breath. For more
information, contact Health Services at ext. 3806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Information from WebMD)