It can seem like a cold - and sometimes even worse - but it is not. Seasonal allergies, sometimes called hay fever, are very common. Seasonal allergies begin early in people; sometimes it shows up around age ten, sometimes not until around age twenty. Seasonal allergies equally affect men, women and all ethnic backgrounds., and they affect between ten and thirty percent of adults.
What is an Allergy?
An allergy is the body expressing sensitivity toward something or things in the environment. Allergic reactions can range from fairly mild to life-threatening. Mild reactions would be mild itching or sneezing. Severe reactions can manifest itself as hives, wheezing, shortness of breath and hay fever. An extreme allergic reaction would be anaphylactic shock, where the airways swell shut and the blood pressure drops.
What are Seasonal Allergies?
Typically seasonal allergies are brought on by airborne pollen from seasonal plants (or spores from mold) entering a person's body through the ears, nose or throat. Many people do not react; in people sensitive to these substances, however, there is a big reaction. In fact, their immune systems see these substances as foreign objects and mount an attack using histamines and other chemicals. This brings on the inflammation leading to discomfort. These attacks usually commence within ten minutes of exposure and retreat within an hour. For some, they will attack again after a few hours.
Top 10 Signs You May Have Seasonal Allergies
1. You are sneezing.
2. You have a runny nose.
3. You are also dealing with congestion.
4. You may have itchy, watery, red eyes.
5. You have an itchy throat.
6. You are coughing, but it is a dry cough.
7. Your senses of taste and smell are impaired.
8. You may not be sleeping well.
9. You may be dealing with headaches.
10. It is spring or fall.
What is the Difference Between a Cold and Seasonal Allergies?
While allergies and colds can have some of the same symptoms, there are differences. Colds generally last around seven to ten days. Allergies can stick around for months. Mucous due to a cold is usually thick with a yellowish color. Mucous from allergies is generally thin and clear. Often times, allergies lead to itchiness around the eyes, skin, or mouth. In addition, they can usually be traced back to an environmental trigger.
What if I Have Some of the Signs for Seasonal Allergies?
The first thing to do is to see your doctor or allergist. Once she knows the allergies, she can make a plan for treatment. For some it is just a decongestant or antihistamine, for others it is nasal spray, and others need allergy shots. Many of these have side effects, however, and there are natural remedies without the side effects.