All About Seasonal Spring Allergies
I am among the many people who look forward to spring. The increasing warmth, outdoor events, and pretty blossoms draw us from our cozy, winter abode. But I take allergies into account before I spring into this otherwise delightful time of year.
Along with the new growth in spring comes lots of allergens. And these give rise to unpleasant symptoms for me and others with seasonal allergies. The allergens looming in the air can keep us stuck inside unless we find effective ways to deal with them.
What allergens are highest in spring?
Certain allergens become more intense in the spring. These include pollen from blooming plants and trees. As the weather warms up, molds also multiply. We are likely to encounter pollen and mold spores when we go outside in the spring. They travel easily through the air. The more time we spend outdoors when these allergens are highest, the more exposure we will have to them. These allergens can trigger allergy symptoms.1
What symptoms come with spring allergies?
Allergy symptoms differ from person to person. For each person, symptoms can also vary from season to season. Certain symptoms might surface or worsen in spring.
Following are common symptoms of seasonal spring allergies, which are also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever:2
- Puffy eyes
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Watery eyes
The pain and pressure in my sinuses confirm that spring allergens are in the air! I can often feel these symptoms as soon as I awake in the morning. The pain and pressure worsen when I go outdoors and ease when I come back inside.
While sinus pain and pressure top my list of seasonal allergy symptoms, others can appear too. My eyes, eyebrows, and the skin on my face itch sometimes. I also sneeze now and then.
How I treat my spring allergy symptoms
Thankfully, treatments for seasonal allergies do exist. These include medicines taken by mouth and nasal sprays. Allergy shots are also an option.2
I have found a few medicines that help relieve my seasonal allergy symptoms. These do not contain pseudoephedrine. I have experienced side effects like confusion and heart racing when I have taken pseudoephedrine in the past. I like the Claritin Reditabs that dissolve in my mouth.
Sometimes all I need is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. I like ibuprofen. I usually take one tablet at a time a few times throughout the day. If I also have pain related to an autoimmune condition or pain that lasts more than a week, I may take Meloxicam.
Steroid nasal sprays
When I need something more, I take Flonase. This steroid nasal spray reduces inflammation, and therefore pain and pressure, in my sinuses. I like that I only need to use Flonase once a day, and it does not make me drowsy. I typically use Flonase for 7 to 10 days at a time. When I use it for longer, my nose becomes dry and painful inside.
I use Claritin along with Flonase and Advil when my seasonal allergy symptoms are the worst.
How I cope with seasonal spring allergies
Over time, I have learned to cope with seasonal allergies and remain excited about spring. When this time of year comes, I remind myself that the allergies it brings are also seasonal. The symptoms will not last forever. They will subside, and I will feel better again.
I make up my mind in advance that I will enjoy each day. I may not like all each day brings, from allergy symptoms to disrupted plans. But I find something in which to delight.
Finding ways to enjoy being outside
I am writing this article on a beautiful sunny day in Texas. The temperature is in the low seventies. I plan to play with my child at the park. I have already taken the medicines that relieve my symptoms. And I have built into my schedule a little time to rest after our stint outdoors.
My rest may consist of laying down for 15 to 20 minutes. I might put a warm cloth on my face for comfort. I also end my day with a warm shower which helps clear my sinuses and washes away any allergens clinging to me.
What measures do you take to enjoy spring despite seasonal allergies? Please share them in the comments. I hope you have a joyful spring!
When are you allergy symptoms the most severe?