West Medical – Spring Allergy FAQs
Written By: Emma Squillace
Spring can mean barbeques, fresh fruit, and long hikes. But if you have allergies – especially those that flare up at this time of year – spring can mean itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, and weeks or months of suffering. Why are allergies bad in the spring? Is there any way to treat them? Today we’ll cover some FAQs about springtime allergies.
What allergies are most common in the spring?
In the spring, the allergies we see most often are from pollen. It’s the time of year when grasses, weeds, flowers, and trees send pollen into the air. These tiny particles can trigger major allergy responses when they end up inside your nose. And when the winter is on the mild side, plants may end up releasing their pollen earlier than usual.
Why is my body reacting this way to a harmless particle of pollen?
That’s a good question. It’s frustrating to find that we can have such dramatic physiological responses to a substance that was not going to harm us. But allergies are basically an overreaction by the body. For some reason, some people have a biological response that tells their immune system that pollen is a threat. To respond to this ‘threat’, your body sends antibodies to fight and protect you. This response includes the release of histamines which cause the telltale allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and a runny or stuffy nose.
Could my spring allergies be getting worse each year?
For some people, their allergies do get worse each year. But in addition – if you think that each year your allergies in the spring are getting worse – it may be because the pollen count is to blame. Researchers say that on average, the pollen count is rising each year, and that trend is expected to continue. Air pollution can also make allergies worse.
Can a pollen allergy be dangerous to my health?
For some people, an allergy is incredibly frustrating, but not dangerous. For others, those annoying symptoms can turn dangerous. This is especially true in the case of asthma. Allergy-induced asthma is exactly what it sounds like. It happens when a trigger, like pollen, sets off asthma symptoms. Asthma is most dangerous when someone is not prepared to treat the oncoming symptoms. This is why it’s particularly important to see an allergy doctor if you find you’re having any type of asthma symptoms in relation to your allergies. Proper diagnosis is the first step to successful treatment.
What treatments are available for spring allergies?
At West Medical we provide a range of allergies treatment options. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis, so we can recommend the treatments that will best fit with your symptoms and lifestyle. Our treatment options include:
- Immunotherapy – injectable. This is a well-known and often successful treatment where we inject you with very small amounts of the substance you’re allergic to. Over time, this helps your body to stop overreacting when these allergens are encountered “in the real world”.
- Immunotherapy – sublingual. This treatment is similar to allergy shots, but is delivered as drops that you put under your tongue. One advantage to this type of allergy treatment is that you do not have to come into our office. You are able to take the drops yourself each day. One potential disadvantage is that insurance companies cover allergy injections more often than allergy drops. Please ask us if you have questions about your insurance coverage, and we can help you figure out what treatments may be covered for you.
- Surgical treatments. While many patients will not need a surgical treatment for symptoms related to allergies, we do have a range of options for those that would benefit.
If allergies are leaving you with annoying symptoms, and a dread of the spring weather, give us a call. We can answer your questions and are happy to set up a consultation so you can learn more about treatment options. We work with both children and adults, and have extensive experience helping our California-area patients deal with seasonal allergies. You can reach us at 855-690-0565.