What's In This Article
Spring time is a delightful season! There is always something going on. Every year, you get to see the birds flying home, and the flowers blooming.
You are able to breathe in the smell of fresh air, not cold or filled with ice, but warm with a hint of happiness. You bask in the light of a brilliant shining sun and can feel the embrace of this new season.
Who can forget the way lemonade tastes on a spring day? It goes from being just another beverage to being a delicious treat.
The sounds of spring also make a smile form on your face, as you hear the excitement of family and friends enjoying a picnic in the park.
March 20th marks the first day of spring for us and with it comes an entirely new season of spring allergies. As the trees start to bloom and the pollen is released into the atmosphere, allergy sufferers prepare for their annual ritual of sneezing and coughing.
This year, 35 million Americans are destined to fall prey to seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. No cure exists for seasonal allergies, but there are a few things that you can do to be ready this spring.
What Causes Spring Allergies?
Perhaps the biggest culprit for spring allergies is pollen. When pollen is breathed in by someone who is allergic, the immune system automatically goes into protection mode.
Mistaking pollen as a foreign substance, the immune system will release antibodies that attack the allergens, which leads to the release of histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of allergies.
This pretty much leads to a bad day for the allergy sufferer. With more pollen, the greater the misery. Find out the daily pollen count in your area by visiting the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website.
What Type of Relief Is Available?
Physicians generally treat allergies with over-the-counter and prescription medications. Antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays and eyes drops are the typical treatment options given to patients.
Sometimes, a procedure or allergy shots are given to help provide additional relief. There are also a few things that can be done at home to help prevent allergies.
Stay indoors during peak pollen times, clean your air filters, wash your hair after going outside, keep all doors and windows closed as this might increase the pollen count throughout your home, and vacuum at least twice a week.
What Can Spring Allergies Do To My Lung Disease?
If you happen to be living with a lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), spring allergies can add wood to the fire. Your lung disease can actually become worse during the spring season.
Allergies can act as a sort of lung irritant which can cause serious inflammation and postnasal drip. This can lead to a lung disease flare-up with frequent coughing and wheezing.
Taking antihistamines can help reduce your reactions and trying your best to stay inside when possible will also help. If you are experiencing severe allergies with your lung disease this season, talk to your doctor about a new treatment plan.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.