By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.
For some people, each spring there’s no surprise that they find themselves dealing with itchy and watery eyes, constant sneezing, a runny nose, dry throat and cough, headaches and more. Why? Because as the winter snow melts away, and trees and plants begin to blossom, so do your allergies.
And while many of us attribute allergies to spring, did you know that each season poses different allergens that can throw your immune system out of whack?
Allergies and Your Immune System
First off, what causes allergies?
Well, when an allergen enters your body, it may be harmless, but your immune system mistakes it as a dangerous invader. The problem with this mistake is that when it enters your system in the future, your body is programmed to create antibodies that release a chemical known as histamine. The histamine released is what causes your allergy symptoms.
Common allergens are airborne such as pollen, animal dander, dust mites and mold. People can also experience allergic reactions to certain foods, insect stings, medications, and other various substances.
Most of the time with airborne allergies, your airways, sinuses, and nasal passages are affected, and the reaction can range from being mild to severe. However, in those severe cases, allergies can turn into anaphylaxis, a condition that causes your body to go into shock. That said, it’s important to keep note and be aware of any allergies you may have.
So, what allergens are prone to appear each season?
Spring: Tree Pollen
Have you found yourself with the sniffles lately? If so, you’re more than likely allergic to some variant of pollen. During the Spring, trees, grasses and weeds release grains into the air to fertilize other plants. While this process makes springtime so green and beautiful, it can cause your body’s defense system to overreact.
The histamines we discussed earlier are what cause the itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, headaches, etc. If you find yourself experiencing a strong reaction to the pollen, be sure to find ways to combat your symptoms if you can. However, the problem with pollen is that it doesn’t have to be your tree outside causing your flare up, pollen can unfortunately travel for miles.
Common tree pollen triggers are:
- Box elder
Summer: Grass Pollen
Similar to the spring, pollen is also the culprit in the summer months – specifically grass pollen. While grass pollen does fertilize in the spring, too, it reaches moderate to high levels throughout the summer months. And when it’s warm, most people find themselves outside amongst the pollen saturated air.
See, the problem lies in the fact that spring’s moisture in our lawns prepares it for pollination at the beginning of summer. Our lawns make look lovely, but that green grass can cause agony for those who are allergic.
The grasses that tend to be the culprit are as follows:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Meadow Fescue
Fall: Weed Pollen
Just as you begin to think that the allergy months are behind you, fall begins to poke its head out. With fall, most of us associate the changing in leaves with plant life dying and hibernating for the winter. However, ragweed pollen is just beginning to pollinate.
About 75% of people who are allergic to spring plants are also affected by ragweed which tends to pollinate in late summer through November but is at its highest in mid-September. While ragweed can be found nationwide, it’s most common on the east coast and in the Midwest.
Other fall allergens include:
- Burning bush
- Sagebrush and mugwort
- Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
As snow begins to fall, it’s impossible for there to be any seasonal allergens, right? We wish that were true, but no. In the winter months, as you begin to spend more time inside, indoor allergies become the culprit. Imagine this, it’s freezing outside so naturally, you turn on the heater. The problem there is that when your heater kicks on, dust and mold spores are pushed into the air, which causes your body to react.
Common winter allergens are:
- Dust Mites
- Pet Dander
- Insect Droppings
How To Avoid Allergens
Now that you know what allergens are most active during certain months, how do you treat your symptoms?
Well, if you can, try and avoid your allergen whenever possible. If the pollen count is high one day, stay inside. Pay attention to the weather. Pollen levels are highest when it’s warm, dry and windy, so if it’s just rained, it’s a perfect time to get outside.
Did you spend a lot of time out today? If yes, then wash your clothes and hair as soon as you get home. Certain fabrics attract pollen and less breathable fabrics are ideal for mold, so if you can, try wearing natural cotton fibers during your peak allergy season.
If you like to workout outside, shoot for later hours. Pollen and mold levels tend to be higher from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated. Believe us, your body (especially your nose) will thank you for the extra hydration.
If all else fails and your desperate for some relief from your allergy symptoms, think about giving our Maximum Strength Allergy Medication a try. It naturally relieves common indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms including hay fever, hives, watery eyes, runny stuffy nose, rhinitis, sneezing, itchy eyes and throat from pollen, ragweed, grasses, animal dander and mold.
Our natural allergy relief medicine works to stop the inflammatory response that allergies cause while stimulating your body's natural healing response to desensitize your body to allergens over time. We also understand that not all allergies are alike, and you might be experiencing other symptoms as well.
Other products that work well are our Natural Sinus Relief remedy and for headaches or migraine attacks caused by allergies, try Migraine Pain Management and Headache Pain Management.