Spring Allergies and How to Treat Them
Written By: Emma Squillace
Some people run for the park or the deck when they see the first signs of spring. They’re excited about the sun, fresh grass, and flowers. But for those who have allergies, signs of spring may send you running for your tissues and eye drops instead. If you suffer from allergies, there is hope in medical treatment. At West Medical, we treat patients of all ages for many types of springtime allergies.
What is an allergy?
Our bodies have hundreds of biological responses – and the vast majority of them work well to keep us safe and healthy. But sometimes a body has an overly extreme reaction to a harmless substance. This is an allergy. Our bodies think the reaction is protective, but in reality it causes aggravating symptoms.
What are the most common allergies?
Millions of people suffer from allergies. Most often these are to pet dander, dust mites, insect venom, food, and pollen. The pollen allergies are the ones we see surging in the spring. Plants like trees, grass, and weeks will release tiny pieces of pollen into the air, so they can fertilize other plants. It’s easy for some of these particles to end up in your nose instead, which sets an allergic person’s body into overdrive.
Why do allergies cause symptoms?
If you have allergies, when your body encounters pollen – or any allergen – danger signals are sent out. To “protect” you, your body puts out antibodies to destroy the perceived harm. This triggers your body to release histamines. Histamines cause symptoms like runny nose and itchy eyes. Often you’ll see over the counter allergy medicine is an “anti-histamine”. This is because the histamines are the direct cause of allergy suffering.
Are allergies dangerous?
If you suffer from allergies, you know they can be incredibly frustrating to live with. They can also be dangerous. While a runny nose is at the lighter end of the allergy spectrum, you can also suffer from asthma, which can be a danger. Some of our patients also come to us because they have eczema as an allergic reaction, which causes red itchy patches on their skin.
Are there medical treatments for allergies?
Yes – the good news for allergy sufferers is that medical innovations have led to a variety of treatments for many types of allergies. At West Medical we offer treatments from guidance in lifestyle modification, to surgery if needed. One line of treatments that our patients respond well to is called Immunotherapy. This is a process where we get your body to stop over-reacting to allergens by exposing you to very small amounts over time. Immunotherapy used to be available just as allergy shots, but a new variation of this treatment allows patients to use drops under the tongue, from the convenience of their homes.
If springtime means allergies for you, there are options to make this season much more enjoyable. The ENT professionals at West Medical would be happy to talk with you about your symptoms, and explain the various treatment options we have. There is no reason you can’t enjoy the spring weather as much as everyone else. Call us today to get control of allergy symptoms. Our team is available at (855) 690-0565.