Spring Allergies

Spring Allergies

When will symptoms of spring allergies begin?
Spring seems ready to burst forth in the very near future. Individuals with seasonal allergies will start to notice symptoms soon. Symptoms from seasonal allergies can vary dependent on which season you are more sensitive too. In certain areas Spring allergies can start as early as February.

What are spring allergy triggers?
There are four major categories of allergens: pollens, insects, animal allergens and molds. Spring allergy problems are often from pollens or molds. The irritants in the air from molds, trees, grass, and weeds can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat.

What are the symptoms of spring allergies?
Symptoms can include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, itching or sore throat, itching in the ears or muffled hearing. Mucus from your nose that drips down the back of your throat can cause an irritating cough. This response to an allergen can trigger other problems such as a flare up of asthma. It becomes important to treat your allergies appropriately and early to prevent further problems.

What can I do to avoid spring allergies?
Avoiding allergy triggers is helpful. Examples include: Staying inside during peak allergy season; Keeping windows closed especially during the nighttime hours, use air conditioning instead; Shower before bed to rinse off pollen and use a sinus/nasal rinse product to remove the allergen from your nose; Wear a dust mask if you need to be outside.

What can I do to prevent spring allergy symptoms?
Preventing symptoms by treating allergies early can be helpful. You can start treatment 1-2 weeks before the season starts or begin treatment when the symptoms are first seen. Options for treatment can include long-acting antihistamines such as brand name or generic versions of Claritin, Allegra, or Zyrtec. You can treat nasal congestion with steroid nose sprays such as name brand or generic versions of Nasacort or Flonase. In certain situations decongestants are necessary. Be careful however, people who have problems such as high blood pressure should check with their primary provider before using a decongestant. Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than 3 days in a row as they can make symptoms worse.

Speak to your family provider if you have additional questions on spring allergies.

 

Deb Fueller, FNP-C works in the pulmonology department at CHI St. Alexius Health Heart & Lung Clinic.
She assists in providing care for patients with pulmonary diseases.