|Spring and Summer are here again ! It’s a great time to enjoy the weather, so don*t let your hay fever bring you down this time.
Get a head start on how to avoid the Spring and Summer sneezes with the following practical questions and answers.
Q: What is hay fever?
A: Each spring, summer, and fall, tiny pollen grains are released from trees, weeds, and grasses and travel on currents of air to fertilize other plants.
In some people, inhaling these pollens triggers a type of seasonal allergic rhinitis called pollen allergy, commonly known as hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the nasal passages, which causes swelling, sneezing, itching, irritation and a runny nose.
Q: Do pollen allergies occur only in the spring?
A: No. Pollen grains can be dispersed into the air in the spring, summer and fall, depending on the type of tree, grass or weed. For example, ragweed is a common cause of pollen allergy reactions in the fall. In mild climates, some plants pollinate in the winter as well.
Q: Why are some people allergic to pollen while others are not?
A: People inherit a tendency to be allergic, meaning an increased likelihood of being allergic to one or more allergens (such as pollen), although they probably do not inherit a tendency to be allergic to any specific allergens.
Children are much more likely to develop allergies if their parents have allergies, even if only one parent is allergic.
Exposure to allergens at certain times when the body’s defenses are lowered or weakened, such as after a viral infection or during pregnancy, also seems to contribute to the development of allergies.
Q: Which trees and grasses produce the most allergens?
A: Plain-looking trees, grasses and weeds, which do not have showy flowers, produce the types of pollen that most commonly cause allergic reactions.
These plants manufacture small, light, dry pollen granules that are custom-made for wind transport. Although most allergenic pollen comes from plants that produce it in huge quantities, it’s the chemical maekup of the pollen that determines whether it is likely to cause hay fever.
Q: Is there anything I can do to minimize my reaction to pollen?
A: Avoiding exposure to pollen is the best way to decrease allergic symptoms: Remain indoors in the morning when outdoor pollen levels are highest.
Keep windows closed and use the air conditioner if possible in the house and car.
Do not dry clothes outdoors.
Avoid unnecessary exposure to other environmental irritants such as insect sprays, tobacco smoke, air pollution, and fresh tar or paint.
Avoid mowing the grass or doing other yard work, if possible.
Q: Is there anything I can take for allergies that won’t make me sleepy?
A: There are several herbal remedies that are available which will not make you sleepy.
Q: Can I take shots to get rid of my pollen allergy?
A: You can, but you may experience unpleasant side effects like difficulty breathing or wheezing,
Q: Should I consider moving to another geographic area where I would have less exposure to allergens?
A: Most people who relocate to get away from the pollens that cause their allergic symptoms find that they eventually develop allergies to the plant pollens in the new area.
In addition, other airborne allergens, such as dust or mold, in the new area also might cause allergic rhinitis in a person. Therefore, its usually not recommended that patients move.
Q: What time of day and weather conditions are worst for people with pollen allergy?
A: Generally, pollen is most abundant in the early morning, especially between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Q: What are the best treatments for hay fever ?
The best treatments are herbal remedies, because they are fast, effective and have few side effects, and most of them do not cause drowsiness.