After a long, cold, dead winter, there’s nothing more beautiful than the sight of flowers and trees blooming along Interstate 95 to signify the onset of spring. But with these beautiful sights comes an unpleasant side effect: spring allergies. Below we provide an overview of common culprits of seasonal allergy symptoms, what other allergens you have to look forward to later in the year and how to find relief.
What’s Causing Your Symptoms?
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But during an allergic reaction, your immune system mistakes harmless substances such as pollen as a dangerous intruder and overreacts. In order to fight off the intruder, the immune system tells your cells to release histamine. Histamine increases your mucus production and causes inflammation.
Substances that trigger this type of reaction are known as allergens. The most common allergens in Pennsylvania include:
- Black ash.
- Black walnut.
- Black willow.
- Border privet.
- European privet.
- Red mulberry.
- White mulberry.
- White walnut.
- Black mustard.
- Smooth amaranth.
- White sagebrush.
- Bermuda grass.
- Black bent.
- Nodding fescue.
- Perennial rye grass.
- Red fescue.
- Winter bent.
Annual Pennsylvania Allergens
While spring is no doubt the worst time for most people with allergies, the severity of your symptoms depends on what exactly you’re allergic to, meaning people who react to allergens other than tree and grass pollen may have worse symptoms other times of the year.
Below are common Pennsylvania allergens throughout the year:
- Summer allergens: fungus spores, seeds.
- Fall allergens: ragweed pollen.
- Winter: dust mites.
Tips for Preventing Allergies
While there is no cure for allergies, there are ways to reduce symptoms. Try the strategies below:
- Track pollen counts. You can check your local forecast to see what the pollen concentration will be each day in your area. On days with high pollen counts, stay indoors and keep the windows closed.
- Shower and change after spending time outdoors. This way you minimize the amount of allergens tracked through your home.
- Delegate yardwork to someone without allergies. Hire a professional if necessary.
- Run your air conditioning. This will help purify the air and remove allergens.
- Invest in a portable HEPA filter. This is especially helpful for people who don’t have air conditioning.
For more information about managing allergies or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today!