Spring allergies - Author: Tennessee Wholesale Nursery
When trees start to bloom and release pollen into the air,
sneezing, sniffling, and itchy, red eyes aren’t far behind. More than 58
Million Americans suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis – most commonly known
as hay fever – annually. And while there isn’t a cure per say for allergies,
there are ways to keep them at bay.
The beautiful greenery of spring is the most significant cause of
allergic reactions in both adults and children. As grasses, weeds, and trees
begin to reproduce, tiny grains of pollen get swept into the air. These
particles enter the body through the nostrils, where they have full reign to
wreak havoc on the immune system. The body views pollen as an outsider and
tries to fight it off with its most effective weapon, antibodies. As the
antibodies and allergens battle, the body releases histamines into the
circulatory systems. Histamines cause an inflammatory response leading to the
most common allergy symptoms.
Some of the most common origins of spring reactions are:
- Timothy grass
- Red top
For most, allergies tend to dissipate in the summer when
trees are full of leaves, and the ground is covered with well-established grass.
However, many still suffer throughout warm weather months. The most common
cause of allergic reaction in the summer is ragweed, but pollution plays a
significant role and can exacerbate symptoms. Aside from plant-based allergies, many
people are allergic to certain insects, with yellow jackets, wasps, fire ants, and
bees being the most prominent offenders. Additionally, microscopic insects called dust
mites peak during warm summer months. Dust mites thrive indoors and nest in
carpet, fabric, and beds.
As with summer, ragweed is one of the biggest triggers
throughout the autumn months. Nearly 75% of people who suffer from spring
allergies also suffer in the fall. Ragweed pollen can travel on wind for
hundreds of miles and can cause a reaction in people who live nowhere near
where it grows. Those who are allergic to ragweed are often sensitive to foods
such as zucchini, bananas, and certain types of melon if they’re grown in a
region or ragweed is common.
Another fall trigger to be aware of is mold. Molds spores
thrive in damp conditions both indoors and out. In the fall, un-mulched leaf
piles are the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Winter reactions often go misdiagnosed because allergies
cause many of the same symptoms as the common cold. At first glance, it can be
difficult to distinguish between the two but given a week from the onset of
symptoms. A doctor can quickly tell the difference. A cold runs its course in
between three and seven days. They rarely deviate from the schedule. If
symptoms last longer than a week, the chances are that allergies are the culprit.
Common triggers of winter allergies are:
Mold and mildew
Winter allergies can be irritated by warm, dry air from H VAC
units as well as from smoke from wood-burning fireplaces.
Regardless of the time of year, most allergy sufferers
Experience similar symptoms. These include:
Itchy, watery eyes
Dry, irritated throat
Dark under-eye circles
More severe allergies may trigger bouts of asthma which can
Be chronic or acute. Asthma is a condition that narrows the airways and makes
Breathing difficult. Asthma symptoms are shortness of breath, wheezing,
coughing, and an elevated heart rate while at rest.
Diagnosis and treatment
Allergies are often diagnosed after a conversation with a
doctor reveals exposure to certainly known allergens. An allergist may perform a
scratch test – a 15 min. extended test that measures the level of irritation after
the skin is punctured with minute amounts of potential allergens. Allergies are
typically treated with over-the-counter medications, which may consist of a
Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer a combination of Decongestant and antihistamines. A more holistic approach to warding off allergy symptoms is honey.
Local honey - that which is produced within 50 miles of the
allergy sufferer’s home - contains the pollen of the same flowers, trees, and grasses
That causes allergies. The belief is that continual exposure helps the body
Build up a tolerance to the allergens. Bee pollen is also claimed to prevent
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to avoid allergens and
irritants altogether. But, you can ease many symptoms by sidestepping the primary
triggers. When possible, allergy sufferers will find it best to remain indoors
when pollen counts are high; pollen peaks in the mid-morning hours. Windows and
doors should stay closed during spring months, and you may use an air purifier
to eliminate some particles.
Central heat and air systems need to be cleaned
regularly. People with long hair should shower after exposure to the
elements as hair can trap pollen and cause a delayed reaction. Floors must be
vacuumed at minimum twice weekly to capture any dust, mold, pollen, or dust
mites that settled into the carpet.
Plant & Tree Allergy Information Provided to you from Tennessee Wholesale Nursery.