The period of seasonal allergies extends from April to the first frost of autumn. seasonal allergies symptoms let’s see how to minimize their impact.
What are seasonal allergies?
We often hear about seasonal allergies on TV, at work, during holidays, etc. The reason they talk so much is simple: it affects so many people of all ages. In Canada, it is estimated that approximately one in six people experience the annoyance of seasonal allergies each year.
Allergies occur when the body reacts and defends itself against normally harmless substances. These substances, known as allergens, are sometimes in the form of particles transported in the air. When they come into contact with mucous membranes, such as those of the nose, mouth and eyes, the body triggers the allergic reaction.
A person can react to several types of allergens: animal hair, certain foods or medicines, dust, latex, etc. , It is pollen that involved seasonal allergies. In the early spring, when the ground thaws (usually in March or April), it is first the pollen of trees that causes allergies. In early summer, grasses (hay, grass, prairie grass) enter the scene. Then, allergies to ragweed come to close the ball from mid-July to the first freeze-up in the fall.
How do you know if you are suffering from a cold or seasonal allergies?
It is sometimes difficult to differentiate allergies from a simple cold, because they have some common symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion. In case of allergy, the runny nose takes the form of fluid secretions, clear and abundant. The secretions of colds are sometimes thicker and more colorful. Both can cause headaches, fatigue, general deterioration and insomnia.
Here are some very typical symptoms of seasonal allergies:
- profuse watering;
- feeling itchy, sometimes severe, to the eyes, nose, throat, ears or palate;
- repetitive sneezing
- redness of the eyes;
- swelling of the eyelids.
Note that seasonal allergies do not usually cause sore throat or fever. In addition, they generally last longer than 10 days, unlike colds. In case of doubt, it is better to consult a doctor to get a diagnosis.
How to decrease the symptoms?
When you suffer from an allergy, the best thing to do is to avoid contact with the allergenic substance. This solution is relatively easy in the case of a food, a drug or an animal. But when it comes to pollens, it gets complicated because they are present in the air during the beautiful season.
Even so, you can reduce contact with pollens and minimize allergy symptoms by following these tips.
- Wear smoked glasses to reduce the amount of pollen that reaches your eyes.
- Avoid spreading clothes on the clothesline: the pollen adheres to the tissues.
- Keep the grass short, as the growing grass blooms and releases pollen.
- Keep the windows closed. Use air conditioning whenever possible.
- Eliminate the presence of ragweed in your environment.
- Avoid going outside in the morning and when the weather is dry, hot and windy. It is better to practice your outdoor activities in the late afternoon or after heavy rains, when the pollen count is low.
- Wear a dust filtering mask to garden or mow the lawn.
- When you get home, take a shower and change, because the pollen can adhere to clothes, skin and hair.
- Before going out, find out about the pollen index. It is a measure of the concentration of pollen grains in the air. If it is high, you may have more symptoms.
- Avoid smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, which can worsen seasonal allergy symptoms.
What treatments can reduce the symptoms?
Fortunately, a variety of drugs and pharmacy-accessible products are able to control the symptoms of seasonal allergies:
- oral antihistamines;
- oral or topical decongestants (as a spray);
- drops for the eyes;
- of saline nasal irrigation;
- nasal corticosteroids as a spray;
Most of these products are available over the counter, on the shelf or after consultation with the pharmacist. Some require a prescription.
If you have questions about allergies and their treatments, do not hesitate to consult your pharmacist.