The allergic reactions is what happens in your body following an allergen exposure. The tissues inside the nose respond by releasing substances such as histamine. Histamines are recognized by other cells in the body leading to symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and itchy throat or nose.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or “hay fever”, affects millions of people every spring. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, itchy watery eyes, congestion etc.
Allergies are your body’s reaction to allergens (mold, dust pollen), a sign that your immune system is working overtime.
Allergies are your immune system trying to defend itself. You immune system identifies pollen, dust etc. as an invader or allergen. Your immune system overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction.
Pollen – Pollen are tiny particles that are released from trees, weeds, and grasses. The weather can affect the amount of pollen in the air at any time.
Molds – Molds are tiny fungi that thrive in moist warm conditions; with their spores floating in the air, much like pollen.
There are some simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to the pollen or molds that cause your symptoms:
- Keep your windows closed and if possible, use an air conditioner / humidifier, which cleans, cools and dries the air. (Change filters often)
- Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold counts are highest; between 5am and 10am
- Limit exposure on especially warm, dry, and windy days
- When you return indoors, take a shower and change clothes
- Avoid chores that stir up pollen and molds such as gardening, and lawn mowing
- Keep your windows closed in the car
- Check your local weather station for daily pollen counts
- Dust with a damp sponge and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
- Keep the relative humidity in your home below 50 percent; this also helps to discourage mold
- Choose pillows, mattresses and furniture labeled “hypoallergenic”
- Replace wall-to-wall carpets with tile, or wood flooring
- Wash shower curtains, bathroom tiles, grouting and fixtures with mold-preventing solutions
Allergy testing can verify whether you’re reacting to mold, pollen, dust mites, or pet dander. Every person is different in what they react to. Just because you haven’t reacted to something currently, doesn’t mean you won’t react to it in the future. Anyone can become sensitized at any time.