By Eugene Hurwitz, MD
Blooming flowers aren’t the only things that accompany the arrival of spring, so do the billions of tiny pollen particles that trigger seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever.
Hay fever can not only affect your quality of life, it can also lead to sinus infections, disrupt your sleep and affect your ability to be productive at school or work.
- Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, throat, eyes
- Stuffy nose (congestion)
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Dark circles under the eyes
If you suspect you suffer from hay fever, consult with an allergist or immunologist who can diagnose you. A specialist can also perform simple tests to determine your specific allergy triggers.
- Keep track of pollen counts in your area by subscribing to the National Allergy Bureau’s email alerts.
- Limit outdoor activities during days with high pollen counts.
- Keep windows closed (at home or in the car) to keep pollen out.
- If you suspect you suffer from hay fever, consult with an allergist or immunologist who can diagnose you. A specialist can also perform simple tests to determine your specific allergy triggers.
- Take a shower after coming indoors. Otherwise, pollen in your hair may bother you all night.
- For long-term allergy relief, consider allergy shots (immunotherapy) for relief from allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Did you know?
- Depending on where you live, there are generally three pollen seasons. The start and end dates of these seasons, as well as the specific plants, vary based on the climate.
- Trees generally pollinate in the spring. Birch, cedar, cottonwood and pine are big allergy triggers.
- Grass releases its pollen in the summer. Timothy, Johnson, and Rye grasses are examples of allergens in this category.
- Weeds cause hay fever in the fall. Ragweed is the biggest offender as it can grow in nearly every environment.