April Flowers Bring Spring Sneezes

How to Detect and Prevent Allergies This Season

Spring is upon us, flowers are blooming, and allergies are in the air. Spring is characterized by colorful flowers on trees, green grass on the lawn, and birds chirping in the air, but as the weather warms up many people identify spring as the sneezing, coughing and itching season.

What Causes Allergies?

Seasonal allergies can be caused by a variety of flowers, trees or grasses but the biggest cause for the spring sneezes is pollen. Pollen is a type of tiny grain released by trees and plants to fertilize other plants and reproduce. If the pollen is inhaled into someone’s body, his or her immune system tries to combat the little intruders by releasing histamines which triggers sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes.

Allergy symptoms can be the highest on a breezy day when the pollen is flying around in the air. Also, the highest pollen count can usually be found between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pollen from trees and grasses are usually the culprit of nasty allergies, not pretty flowers because their pollen is generally carried by insects.

While there is no magic potion to cure seasonal allergies, there are ways to try and reduce the symptoms. Antihistamines will block the site so that the histamines cannot affect the person who is allergic. Allegra, Zyrtec and Claritin are popular new antihistamines to alleviate allergy symptoms with fewer side effects than the older medicines. Antihistamines, however, have not been proven to prevent symptoms for the common cold.​

Avoiding Pollen

Eliminating pollen completely is impossible but one can avoid the intake of pollen using these five steps according to WebMD.com
1. Close windows and doors
2. Avoid using windows and attic fans to cool your house. Use air-conditioning when possible.
3. Close car windows and use air-conditioning when possible.
4. Dry clothing and bedding in the dryer instead of outside.
5. Don’t allow pets that spend time outdoors into your bedroom, they can have pollen in their fur.