Something in the Air: Spring Allergies

Spring is a common time for seasonal allergies to pop up

(RxWiki News) Most people love it when winter ends and spring arrives. But for some, the changing of the season can mean troublesome spring allergies.

In many parts of the United States, spring allergies can actually show up as early as February, so we're already in the middle of the potential spring allergy season.

And while you can't do much to stop the season from changing, you can take steps to prepare for the allergy symptoms and maybe even make them less severe.

In spring, most seasonal allergies have something to do with pollen. This is the season when plants and flowers are blooming, and that means pollen is everywhere.

If you have a pollen allergy, your body's immune system detects pollen you breathe in and thinks it is a dangerous foreign substance. The immune system's reaction to pollen is what causes classic allergy symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and an itchy throat.

Reducing spring allergies from pollen is all about reducing your exposure to pollen. Some ways to do that include the following:

  • Keep the windows of your home closed to keep pollen from finding its way in on the breeze.
  • While you're driving, resist the temptation to enjoy the warmer air and keep your windows rolled up.
  • If you do spend time outdoors during the day, take a shower before you go to bed. That way, you don't spend the whole night coated in pollen.

Fortunately for those who have persistent seasonal allergies, many prescription and over-the-counter medications and treatments can help with the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, decongestants and combination products can often reduce your most persistent allergy symptoms.

However, just because a medication is sold over the counter does not mean it is safe for you specifically to take. That's why you should always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medication — even an OTC allergy medication.

If you have questions about seasonal allergies and related treatments, reach out to your health care provider.