Seasonal allergies rear their stuffy heads in the spring. In the spring people suffer from tree pollens, flower pollens, grasses and mold. As we move into spring tree pollens are the first allergens to affect people. As we move into summer it turns more towards grass allergies. In between spring and summer we have rain and damp weather and so mold allergies will start to act up because dampness creates the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Pollen is measured by the pollen count which is the number of grains of pollen per cubic meter in the air. Pollen counts are usually announced during the weather portion of the daily news. Knowing the pollen count can be helpful to people who suffer from seasonal allergies by giving them an idea about what to expect when making outdoor plans.
The common symptoms of spring allergies are runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes or itchy nose or dark circles underneath the eyes – sometimes called allergic shiners. The symptoms are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to pollen. The immune system for people who suffer from allergies goes into overdrive and releases several chemicals including histamine that cause the symptoms listed above.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has released a list of the top 100 cities that have the worst spring allergies. The top 10 cities are: 1. Knoxville, TN, 2. Louisville, KY, 3. Charlotte, NC, 4. Jackson, MS, 5. Chattanooga, TN, 6. Birmingham, AL, 7. Dayton, OH, 8. Richmond, VA, 9. McAllen, TX, 10. Madison, WI.
Seasonal allergies are diagnosed through the blood by a test called radioallergosorbent test or RAST test. This measures the antibodies, an immune response from body, in the blood to different environmental allergens. Another test is called the prick or wheal test. In this test a very small amount of the allergen--for example, tree pollen--is placed under the skin or in the arm or back to see if the body has a positive reaction by producing a small hive or wheal.
In the next article we will look at natural treatment for seasonal allergies.
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com