How Common Are Seasonal Allergies?

Do you suffer from allergies? Seasonal allergies can be a very annoying problem for many people. For people who suffer from asthma, or have severe reactions to seasonal allergies, it can be a very serious. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 40 million Americans are affected by allergies caused by pollen and other allergens. Allergies can develop at any age, but usually develop before you reach 20 years of age. Depending on what part of the country you live in, the allergy season can be longer, or more severe than in other regions.

Causes of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are caused by airborne pollen or mold spores from trees, flowers, grass or weeds entering into the body. They can enter the body through the mouth, eyes, or the nose. For some people, this results in an allergic reaction. When this happens, the body's immune system sees the pollen or mold as an infection, and begins to fight it. The body releases histamine, and other chemicals to fight off the "perceived infection", resulting in a variety of symptoms. These pesky symptoms usually start within 10 minutes after being exposed to the allergens. Seasonal allergies are usually caused by different types of spores, depending on the season. In the spring season, allergens are usually a result of tree pollen. In the summer months, grass pollen is more common. In the late summer through fall, the main cause of allergies is weed pollen. Seasonal allergies usually are worse during the spring and summer months, die down in the fall, and go away completely in the winter. A doctor can perform a skin test to see if you are allergic to certain pollens.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

If you have seasonal allergies, everyday tasks can become much more difficult with itchy eyes, a runny nose or a scratch throat. Symptoms of seasonal allergies can vary greatly from one person to another. There are a wide variety of symptoms including: coughing, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, difficulty sleeping, and impaired senses. Itchy, watery eyes are usually the first sign that allergy season is underway. This sign is often times accompanied by an itchy or dry throat, sneezing, coughing, and a stuffy nose usually coming later. Seasonal allergies can also cause hives or skin rashes on some people. In rare cases, allergies can cause someone to go into anaphylactic shock!

Treatment of Seasonal Allergies

Good news! You can throw away that box of tissues! There are treatments for annoying allergies. The best way to treat allergies is to try and avoid the allergens altogether, though this isn't always an option for most people. Wearing sunglasses can help to keep the pollen out of your eyes. Since staying indoors for the entire allergy season is not realistic or desirable for most people, there are a variety of treatments that can be used to help you.


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