By Selina Johnson
Have you recently noticed a change in the weather and how your body is responding to it? Have you had any of the following symptoms lately: itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing? If so, you may be experiencing seasonal allergies. We are officially in allergy season which lasts from the months of May through June. Seasonal allergies are a result of the body reacting to changes in the environment. Pollen season corresponds with allergy season which can also be why your seasonal allergies are triggered.
Symptoms to pay attention to are: sneezing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, congestion, puffy eyes, nasal drip, fatigue and headaches. You can treat seasonal allergies by oral antihistamines that can be found over the counter and are used to treat a runny nose, itchy eyes, swelling and other allergy symptoms. Oral antihistamines are often mixed with diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine that may cause you to become drowsy. Zyrtec and Claritin are brands that offer non-drowsy oral antihistamines. Nasal sprays and eye drops are another option to treat itchy eyes, runny noses and sinus congestion. Side effects can include drowsiness. You can purchase nasal sprays over the counter. “Decongestants are used for quick, temporary relief of nasal and sinus congestion. They can cause trouble sleeping, headache, increased blood pressure and irritability.” (Mayo Clinic)
Allergies are not preventable but you can manage them by knowing your triggers. Seasonal allergies can be triggered by various things but the most common trigger is pollen. Here are some tips on how to manage your allergies: stay indoors on dry, windy days, remove clothes and shower immediately once you get home, wear a mask when mowing the lawn and use a dehumidifier to keep air clean. Paying attention to your local weather channel to know when the pollen count will be high is also helpful as well as avoiding outdoor activity in the morning. In the morning the pollen count is the highest.
When should you go and see an allergist? If your symptoms last two thirds of the year or year-round it may be time for you to see an allergist. An allergist can help you know your symptoms and get to the root of what’s triggering it. Seasonal triggers can include: smoke, insect bites and stings, chlorine. You may want to discuss receiving immunotherapy shots with your allergist. These shots are helpful with gradually introducing your body to your allergen in hopes of your body building enough immune so that your body doesn’t react to the allergen.
Nadolpho. (2022, February 9). Seasonal allergies: Causes, symptoms & treatment. ACAAI Public Website. Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/seasonal-allergies/
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, April 16). Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, March 5). Allergy medications: Know your options. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 8, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy-medications/art-20047403
Allergy Season in the Tennessee Valley
By Selina Johnson