Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, are an allergy that occurs when your body has an adverse reaction to certain airborne particles. These particles can include pollen, dust, mold, and pet dander. Seasonal allergies typically occur during certain times of the year when these particles are most prevalent.
Causes of Seasonal Allergies
Common seasonal allergy triggers include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Pollen is a fine powder that is released into the air by these plants. When it comes into contact with your nose, mouth, or eyes, it can cause an allergic reaction. Season allergies most occur during season changes such as spring and fall but can occur year-round.
Other common triggers include dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. Dust mites are tiny creatures that live in dust and are often found in homes. Mold spores are small, lightweight particles that can be found in damp or humid places. Pet dander is made up of skin cells that are shed by animals.
What are the Risk Factors of Seasonal Allergies?
You are likely to have seasonal allergies if you have a family history of allergies, you live in an area where there is a lot of pollen, or you are exposed to secondhand smoke or other allergens at home or at work. You may also be at risk if you have asthma or another type of allergy, such as food allergies or eczema.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Symptoms of seasonal allergies can vary from person to person, but they usually include some combination of sneezing, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itchiness. Some people may also experience fatigue, headaches, or difficulty breathing. If you think you may be experiencing seasonal allergies, it’s important to see a doctor so they can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
How are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed?
A doctor can usually diagnose seasonal allergies based on your symptoms and medical history. They may also want to do a skin test, which involves placing a drop of allergen solution on your skin and then pricking the area with a needle. If you are allergic to the substance, you will develop a raised, itchy bump within 15 minutes.
Blood tests are another option for diagnosing seasonal allergies. These tests look for antibodies that your body produces in response to an allergen. However, blood tests are not always accurate and may be more expensive than skin tests.
Seasonal Allergy Treatment
At Allergy & Clinical Immunology Associates, PC, we offer our patient expert seasonal allergy treatments to ease your allergy symptoms. We utilize immunotherapy or allergy shots to help change how your immune system reacts to allergens. By gradually increasing the amount of allergen over the course of several months, we can decrease your sensitivity to the allergens, which will reduce your symptoms when you come into contact with your known triggers.
To learn more about our seasonal allergy treatment, call us today!