Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, are a type of allergic reaction that occur when the body’s immune system overreacts to certain allergens present in the environment. These allergens can include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, as well as mold spores.
When a person with allergic rhinitis comes into contact with these allergens, their immune system releases histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages. This leads to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion. These symptoms usually occur during certain seasons when the allergen is most prevalent in the air, hence the name “seasonal allergies“.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. It is typically treated with antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays, as well as avoidance of allergens when possible. Some people may also benefit from immunotherapy, which involves receiving small doses of the allergen over time to help the body build up a tolerance to it.
Causes of Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to certain airborne allergens, such as pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, or mold spores. When these allergens come into contact with the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat, they trigger an immune response, which releases histamine and other chemicals that cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes.
During certain seasons of the year, certain types of plants release higher amounts of pollen into the air, this pollen is picked up by the wind and can travel long distances, so people may be exposed to it even if they don’t live near the source of the pollen. The exact timing of allergy season varies depending on the location and the specific allergen, but it typically occurs during the spring, summer, and fall.
Some people may be more susceptible to developing seasonal allergies due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Factors such as exposure to allergens, the age of first exposure, and the presence of other allergies or asthma may also increase the likelihood of developing seasonal allergies.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Symptoms of seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, can include sneezing, runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, and an itchy throat. Some people may also experience hives, eczema or asthma symptoms. These symptoms can occur during certain seasons, such as spring or fall, when certain pollens are present in the air.
There are several treatment options for seasonal allergies, including:
- Medications: Over-the-counter antihistamines can help reduce sneezing, itching, and runny nose. Decongestants can also be helpful in reducing nasal congestion.
- Nasal sprays: Corticosteroid nasal sprays can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages.
- Immunotherapy: Also known as allergy shots, this treatment involves injecting small amounts of an allergen (such as pollen) under the skin to gradually build up a tolerance to that allergen.
The most effective treatment option will vary depending on the individual and the severity of their symptoms. It is best to consult with an allergist or primary care physician for personalized recommendations.
Immunotherapy (Allergy shots) is considered one of the most effective treatment for seasonal allergies in the long-term, as it can help to reduce symptoms and the need for medication over time.
Visit Priority Virtual Healthcare Today
If you are experiencing or think you may be experiencing seasonal allergies, visit Priority Virtual Healthcare today. You can easily book a virtual visit any time. Priority Virtual Healthcare is a fast and easy way to access healthcare within the comfort of your own home, or wherever you may be. You can see a provider and get the help you need without having to leave your house. This can be especially helpful during these times when it is important to limit in-person visits. So, don’t let your allergies go untreated, visit Priority Virtual Healthcare today!