Question: How can I get relief from my spring allergies?
Take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. More than 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, better known as hay fever. While there is no cure for spring allergies, there are ways to relieve your suffering and get you outdoors again.
The cause of spring allergies
During spring and summer, pollen is released from trees, grass, flowers and plants and becomes airborne for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. When pollen is inhaled through a person’s nose, the immune system sends out an army of antibodies -- substances that normally identify and attack bacteria, virus and other illness-causing organisms -- to fight off this foreign invader. The antibodies attack the allergen, which leads to the release of histamines into the blood. Histamines are the chemicals that trigger inflammation in the sinuses, nose and eyes.
As a result, allergy symptoms may include:
Allergens can also trigger asthma, a narrowing of the airways which makes breathing difficult and can cause coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Tips for treating and preventing allergies
Fear not. You can enjoy a warm, sunny day outside. From developing new habits to using medications, there are many ways to successfully combat allergies.