Winter has brought brutal weather to many parts of this country, but spring is on its way. Unfortunately, along with sunshine, flowers, and temperate weather, spring can bring an explosion of pollen that can trigger allergy symptoms. The most common symptoms include:
- Runny or stuffed up nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Coughing and wheezing
- Eczema and hives
High winds, which are common in spring, can stir up pollens and exacerbate allergies. Rainy days, however, can wash the pollens away and may give you a slight respite from your symptoms.
The biggest spring pollen producers include trees and grass. Depending on which part of the country you live in, different pollens can be more prevalent.
Trees tend to pollinate first, starting as early as January in some parts of the country. The worst pollen-producing trees include:
Grasses start to pollinate later in the spring. Bermuda grass often leads the charge in April with others following suit in May and June. Allergenic grasses include:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Meadow Fescue
Spring allergy treatment
So how do you fortify yourself against spring allergens? You can take medications, but they can have side effects, and they rarely provide complete relief. If you only have allergies for a couple months of the year, or if your symptoms are mild, you might be able to get by with prescription or over-the-counter pills or inhalers. However, if your allergies are affecting you for more than a few months of the year or if they are bad enough that they are compromising your quality of life, talk to your physician about prescribing allergy immunotherapy.
Allergy immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that addresses the root of the allergy for lasting relief. It is available in two forms: sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue allergy drops) and subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). Both of these treatments can help desensitize your body to allergens in the environment so that you will stop overreacting to them.
If you don’t have time for allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy may be a better choice for you. Sublingual allergy drops can be taken at home rather than at the doctor’s office, and they are safer than shots. You can visit a sublingual immunotherapy clinic and talk to an AllergyEasy physician about the cost of allergy drops and whether or not oral allergy drops are right for you.