Be Prepared: Spring Allergies 101
Posted on: March 24, 2016 | Posted in Therapeutic Services
If you’ve begun to sneeze, blow your nose, and deal with other allergy symptoms, you’re one of the 58 million Americans who suffer from spring allergies. Dr. Langford and other allergists recommend treating spring allergies before you begin to show symptoms. Additionally, in order to fully combat frustrating allergies, it’s important to educate yourself on spring allergies.
Our spring allergy hotline begins accepting calls at 7 a.m. Get relief: 478-787-4728.
The Cause of Spring Allergies
The most common trigger for seasonal allergies is pollen, which is released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds. Pollen is what helps plants fertilize other plants, which is why we see so much of it in the spring.
Your body treats allergens like pollen as invaders. In response to these invaders, your immune system starts working to protect your body by releasing antibodies to attack the perceived threat. Antibodies are proteins that identify and help remove foreign attackers like viruses and bacteria from your body. When the antibodies attack the allergen, your body also releases a chemical called histamine, which results in a runny nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.
So, for example, when you breathe in pollen each spring, your body attacks that pollen and tries to get it out of your body, resulting in allergy symptoms.
Treating Spring Allergies
Schedule an appointment at Langford Allergy if you believe you have spring allergies. We will perform an allergy test to determine which allergens are irritating you, and then we develop a treatment plan.
The only way to treat the cause of spring allergies is through immunotherapy. Immunotherapy can be taken as a shot or a tablet (sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT), and these methods alter your immune system so that your body will no longer react to the troublesome allergen. Langford Allergy offers both allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy at all four of our convenient locations in Macon, Warner Robins, Gray, and Forsyth. Contact us today at 478-787-4728 to learn more about how to treat your spring allergies with immunotherapy.
Spring allergies can be temporarily treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications such as:
- Antihistamines that lower the amount of histamine in your body and reduce sneezing, runny nose, and itching
- Decongestants that relieve congestion by shrinking the blood vessels in your nose
- Combined antihistamine/decongestants
- Nasal sprays to clear clogged nasal passages
- Eye drops to relieve itchy and watery eyes
Of course, avoiding exposure to allergens is a good way to relieve your allergies. However, no one wants to stay inside all spring and summer! To mitigate the effects of going outdoors during allergy season, wear a mask when gardening, mowing the lawn, or doing other outdoor chores. You should also take showers regularly, as pollen can get trapped in your hair and on your skin. Pollen and other allergens get trapped in your pets’ fur too, so be sure to wash them regularly, and don’t allow your pets into your bedroom.