Pollen grains from flowers are the main cause for spring allergies. Pollen enters an individual's nasal cavities, particularly in those who are allergic to them, it stimulates the immune system to react in an allergic response. Antibodies produced by the immune system start attacking the allergens, resulting in the multitude of allergic symptoms. Many trees, like alder, box elder, cedar, cypress, elm, juniper, maple, oak, olive, pine, and willow, produce the offending pollens. Many grasses and weeds, like Bermuda, June, orchard, saltgrass, timothy, and perennial rye are also in the culprit list. The symptoms become severe on a windy day, as the pollen grains increase, carried by the wind.
The main symptoms of spring allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Watering of the eyes
- Itching in the nose and eyes
- Asthma, in those who are prone to it
To avoid spring allergies, follow these guidelines:
- Avoid exposure to the allergens by staying indoors especially when the allergens are in the air. The number of pollen in the air is found to be higher in the morning.
- Have the doors and windows closed during spring.
- Keep an air filter.
- Avoid accumulation of pollen in all places possible at home, like shelves, carpets and vents.
- Use a vacuum cleaner at home to remove the allergens, like pollen, mold and dust.
Many over-the-counter and prescription medications are helpful in controlling the symptoms, such as:
- Antihistamines – It reduces sneezing and itching
- Decongestants – Relieves congestion in the air passages
- Nasal sprays – Clear the nasal passages
- Eye drops – To prevent itching and watering of eyes
Always talk to your doctor before taking medications.