With spring on its way, allergies are about to be in full force. About 70-80 million people suffer from allergies, many of them beginning in the spring and lasting through summer.

Trees and grass pollen are the most common spring allergy triggers. When produced and released into the air, people have nasal and respiratory symptoms. Trees, grasses and weeds produce pollen to fertilize other plants during the spring and summer. There are about 20 types of trees and 30 types of weeds and grasses that cause the most common spring allergies.

When we breathe in pollen, our immune system sees it as a foreign object and attacks it with IgE antibodies.  Histamines are then released into the body, causing runny/stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, sneezing, congestion, cough and more.

Allergies can also cause asthma flare ups. When we breathe in allergens, it makes it difficult to breathe and can cause wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. There are a few temporary solutions to keep your allergies under control until you can see a specialist.

  • Keep track of the daily pollen count. If the count is high, it can help determine whether you should keep windows and doors closed, and if it would be better to exercise indoors.
  • Nasal rinses twice a day, and nasal sprays, more if you are not feeling well
  • Over-the-counter antihistamines and eye drops may help

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with an Allergist. Although there are a few over-the-counter temporary solutions to relieve allergy symptoms, it is best to be tested for allergies for a more effective treatment that will fit your specific needs, such as immunotherapy and prescription antihistamines, nasal sprays and inhalers. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can be symptom free, before spring allergies hit!