You probably look forward to seeing the signs of spring and its beautiful natural display in the coming months. What you probably don’t look forward to, if you’re like over 50 million Americans, are the familiar allergic reactions spring often comes with.
Seasonal allergies, also referred to as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, can have many different causes. Not only that, but during the spring, summer, and fall, what triggers a reaction may change.
Allergies can make you miserable and keep you from enjoying warm weather. However, they don’t have to. Residents of the Kissimmee and Orlando, Florida area who need relief from the frustrations of seasonal allergies can get help from Drs. Wade Han, Elvira Livigni De Armas, and the dedicated medical team at Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center.
You can also help yourself by learning how allergies work, what your common allergy triggers are, and how they can be managed. Here’s what you need to know.
How allergies work
Allergies are the result of problems with your immune system, specifically an overreaction to particles and irritants in the air called allergens. The particles themselves are generally harmless, but if you have an allergy to them, your immune system treats it like a threat and your body reacts accordingly, leading to nasal congestion, itchiness, headaches, sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat, and other symptoms.
Common allergy triggers
When your body comes into contact with allergens, it creates a chemical called histamine to remove them. Common triggers of that histamine reaction include:
- Pet dander: The flakes of dead skin from your pets are called dander, and it can trigger allergies all year round.
- Mold: Spores from various molds can lead to reactions in specific seasons or any time of year, depending on the location and type of mold.
- Pollen: This trigger can come from trees, grass, or ragweed, with the first two being more common in the spring.
- Dust mites: These tiny insects can live in many places around the house, including carpets, drapes, and furniture.
Other risk factors can increase the chances of allergic reactions, such as other allergies, asthma, skin conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema, family history, and having a mother who smoked during your first year of life.
Methods of treatment and prevention
Here are some practical tips you can use to avoid the unpleasantness of allergic reactions:
Reduce the amount of time you’re around triggers that cause reactions. This is a simple but important step, which can include: staying indoors on windy days, avoiding lawn mowing, removing clothes you’ve worn while outside, washing yourself after having been outside, not hanging clothes outdoors, and wearing a face mask while doing things around the house.
Take precautions on high pollen count days
Check the news for high pollen count days, and be sure to close windows and doors and take allergy medications before symptoms start. If pollen counts are too high, stay inside.
Remove allergens from the house
It may be impossible to clean everything, but using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, such as while vacuuming, can help keep allergens from getting in. Use humidifiers to keep the air dry indoors, and use filtered air conditioning.
Do sinus rinses
Nasal irrigation with a saline solution can relieve congestion and flush out mucus and allergens that trigger reactions.
Use over-the-counter medications
Corticosteroid nasal sprays, cromolyn sodium nasal spray, oral antihistamines, and oral decongestants are all available at the store to help you keep allergies at bay.
If these methods don’t work, we can help you with a variety of methods. So if you have seasonal allergies, they don’t have to make you miserable. Use the tips we’ve mentioned, and if you still need help, make an appointment with Drs. Han, Livigni De Armas, and Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center today.