Seasonal allergies – Condition

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Overview

Seasonal allergies are very common and frequently referred to as hay fever. They are seasonal, most often occurring in the spring, summer, and fall, and are triggered by an allergic response to a particular chemical. When allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis develop, the membrane lining the nose and the whites of the eyes known as conjunctiva are mostly affected and thus can be checked for the development of symptoms and severity of the disease.

Causes

Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system misinterprets a harmless airborne chemical as potentially harmful, leading to an allergic reaction. Histamines and other substances are released into your circulation because of your body’s reaction to the substance, or allergen. Those substances cause the symptoms of an allergic response to manifest themselves.

The most common causes of hay fever change from one season to the next.

·Trees cause the majority of seasonal allergies in the springtime. Birch is one of the most frequent offenders; its pollen is a trigger for many individuals suffering from hay fever. The willow, cedar, alder, horse chestnut, and poplar are some of the other allergenic trees.

·Hay fever is a phrase derived from the hay-cutting season, which is typically held during the summer months. However, grasses like ryegrass and timothy grass, as well as certain weeds, are the most common causes of summertime seasonal allergies. Grass is the most common allergen that causes hay fever in those who suffer from it.

·Ragweed pollen is a fairly frequent allergen, and the symptoms of ragweed allergy may be very severe in certain individuals.

·Nettles, plantains, mugworts, sorrels and fat hens are just a few of the plants that release pollen throughout the autumn season.

· By winter, the majority of outdoor allergens have gone dormant. As a consequence, many individuals who suffer from hay fever find respite from the chilly weather. Those who suffer from seasonal allergies are more likely to have reactions when exposed to indoor allergens like pet dander, dust mites, or cockroaches.

Symptoms

Seasonal allergies are characterized by itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, back of the throat, and around the eyes. While itching may begin slowly or suddenly, it’s a common reaction to stress. Itching may be a source of aggravation. Symptoms include a runny nose, clear watery discharge, and possible stuffiness in the throat. When a child is experiencing nasal congestion, it’s often accompanied by an ear infection as well. It is conceivable that swelling and blue redness of the nasal mucosa will be present as signs of this illness.

It is also possible for the sinuses to become congested, which may lead to headaches and in rare instances, sinus infections (sinusitis). Sneezing is something that occurs on a regular basis.

Itching and excessive watering of the eyes are common symptoms of this condition. Swelling of the upper and lower eyelids, as well as redness in the whites of the eyes, are possible symptoms of seasonal allergies. Using contact lenses may make the irritation in the eyes worse.

Aside from pain and sleeping problems, other seasonal allergies symptoms such as coughing and wheezing may manifest.

The intensity of the symptoms vary based on the time of year and the weather.

It is possible that the same allergy triggers that cause allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. It will also induce asthma.

Diagnosis

The conditions are diagnosed based on their symptoms and the circumstances under which they develop—that is, if they appear only during particular seasons. Additionally, this information may be utilized to help doctors in identifying the allergen.

Typically, no testing is needed; but, on rare occasions, the nasal discharge may be analyzed to see whether it contains eosinophils (WBC produced in huge quantities during an allergic reaction). If the findings of the skin test are inconclusive, an “allergen-specific immunoglobulin (IgE) test” is performed. During this test, a sample of blood is taken and analyzed.

Allergy testing is also performed in order to establish diagnosis.

Skin prick tests may be used to confirm the diagnosis and identify the allergen. Each extract is tested by dabbing a drop onto the subject’s skin, which is then punctured with a needle. The patient will next be examined to see whether there is a wheal and flare reaction (a pale, slightly elevated swelling).

Treatment

The most effective treatment for seasonal allergies or hay fever is to prevent exposure to allergens that cause symptoms in the first place. In addition, medications are available to alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. Some individuals are also trying alternative therapies.

When you are unable to avoid your allergies, there are alternative options accessible, including the medications:

·Combination medicines are available over-the-counter. Prescription drugs such as steroid nasal sprays and decongestant/antihistamine nasal sprays are also available. If your allergy symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe allergy injections. They are a kind of immunotherapy that may be used to help your immune system become less sensitive to allergens.

·Antihistamines can alleviate the symptoms of sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes and itching.

·Congestion may be relieved temporarily with the use of oral decongestants. Some decongestants are available as nasal sprays.

Nasal irrigation: When you have nasal congestion, flushing your nasal passages with saline solution is a fast, inexpensive, and efficient way to relieve it. Mucus and allergens are flushed out of your system when you rinse your nose.

Distilled water, sterile water, previously boiled and cooled water, or water filtered through a filter with an absolute particle size of one micron or less should all be used in the irrigation solution. It is also a good idea to rinse the irrigation device with previously boiled and cooled water, or filtered water, after each usage, and to leave it open to air dry.

When to see a doctor

Seasonal allergies may cause significant pain. If you suspect that you may be suffering from seasonal allergies or have any of the allergy signs or symptoms, see your doctor. Their assistance may be invaluable in identifying the cause of your symptoms and creating an effective treatment plan.