Sniffling, sneezing and coughing are typically the signs of a cold coming on; but for those who have a family member that struggles with seasonal allergies, you know that’s not always the case. Oftentimes, those itchy eyes are a sure sign that allergy season is coming and with it the head congestion associated with an allergic response. Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way; while the allopathic community says that allergies are incurable and only manageable, there’s more to the story.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, seasonal allergies, like other allergies, develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment that typically causes no problem in most people. Typical airborne allergens include pollen, dust, mold, pet dander and smoke (either cigarette smoke or that produced by burning paper, chemicals or waste products). When exposed to an allergen, the body triggers the immune system to go into action. The immune system cells, known as “mast cells”, release a substance called histamine that attaches to receptors in blood vessels causing them to enlarge. Histamine also binds to other receptors causing redness, swelling, itching and changes in secretion.
While “allergy season” is considered to be in the Spring (flowers blooming and pollination) the truth is that tree, grass and plant pollination happens throughout the year and, depending upon the allergy, can cause symptoms all year long.
Not only are allergies affected by what is being pollinated, but there are climate factors that can influence the severity of the symptoms, these include:
- Tree, grass and ragweed pollens thrive during cool nights and warm days
- Molds grow quickly in heat and high humidity
- Pollen levels tend to peak in the morning hours
- Rain washes pollen away, but pollen counts can soar after rainfall
- On a day with no wind, airborne allergens are grounded
- When the day is windy and warm, pollen counts surge
- Moving to another climate to avoid allergies or airborne allergens
Those with seasonal allergies know it is impossible to find a climate that has no airborne allergens.