The days are longer, the air is warmer and the flowers are blooming. Nearly one-third of American adults claim spring as their favorite season. For those who don’t enjoy the season, though, it’s probably because the melting snow and the burgeoning blossoms bring about one of their most unpleasant predators—allergies. Forty percent of children and 30 percent of adults endure the drudgery of allergy season every year, which means millions of miserable people don’t look forward to a season full of runny noses and itchy eyes.
Many spring allergies are airborne. This means symptoms will most likely affect your airways, causing your eyes, nose and lungs to pay the price for breathing the air. When you breathe in a springtime allergens, your body interprets them as dangerous particulates, causing your immune system to go on the defensive. A surge on antibodies (histamines) is released into the blood to destroy the danger, leaving you with classic seasonal allergy symptoms; runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing.
Allergy sufferers of all types ask the question, “Why?” Why are some people sensitive to harmless allergens such as pollen or pet dander? There is speculation about why allergies exist, but no one answer has been settled on. As it stands, allergy sufferers still dread the onset of seasons changing. When allergies become unbearable, The Urgency Room can offer some serious relief. With state-of-the-art facilities, compassionate physicians and convenient locations across the Twin Cities, stopping by could mean the difference between continuing to suffer and finding comfort and solace.
Allergens are in the air. Three common sources include:
1. Tree Pollen
There are a variety of trees that release pollen around the same time each year. The rapid production of pollen cells makes trees essentially criminals to allergy sufferers. Furthermore, wind easily transports pollen for miles, meaning even if you’ve intentionally avoided planting or purchasing a home with a pollen-clad tree in the yard, you could still inhale pollen. Some of the trees that produce pollen in the spring include:
- Western Red Cedar
Rain, rogue snow flurries or other wet conditions will help ground tree pollen, but dry and windy days will send your body’s immune system into a frenzy of histamine release. Pinpointing exactly what type of tree is wreaking havoc on your immune system is difficult and could have you seeking the help of an immunologist or allergist to conduct different allergy tests on you.
How to Combat Tree Pollen Allergies
While seemingly impossible to eliminate tree pollen, there are steps you can take to reduce the effects of pollen. Ensure only non-allergenic trees are planted in your immediate yard. While you can’t control the trees in neighboring yards, you can at least make sure you aren’t bringing the problem closer to home than it has to be. Additionally, keep your windows closed in your home and car, especially on windy days where pollen is traveling relentlessly.
Mold exists in more places than the leftovers at the back of your fridge or in the damp corner of your basement. In fact, your seasonal allergies could very well be triggered by mold in your own backyard. Mold is a fungus, and it can travel through the air via spores—its seeds. In the spring, mold grows on the plants and leaves that were left for dead during the cold winter months. Forgot to rake up all those leaves in the fall? Odds are good they’ll become great hosts to a surge of mold growth in the spring.
Unlike tree pollen that spreads through the air in dry and windy conditions, mold spores travel in dry or humid weather. They are harbored in dead leaf piles, compost mounds, rotting logs and grass.
How to Combat Mold Allergies
While yard work may not be your favorite chore when preparing for spring, you can make it less hard on yourself by wearing some sort of filtering mask. If you’re going to be doing any sort of raking or digging around in your lawn, garden or leaf piles, remember to wear this mask or your nose could be running in a matter of seconds as you inhale the mold spores coming out of hibernation.
3. Shedding Pets
While this allergen doesn’t come from the plants and trees coming to life again, it does rear its head as your pets adapt to the new season. Your furry companions are shedding their dense winter coats as soon as spring comes around. This means not only will you be vacuuming more often come April, but you’ll also be forced to reckon with an onslaught of pet hair and dander.
Pet dander is essentially flakes of dead skin kicked off of the dog through shedding, brushing, scratching or rolling around. Different types of pets release varying amounts of dander with all of them releasing some amount.
How to Combat Pet Allergies
Even if you don’t have a dog or cat in your own home, chances are good that you’ll find yourself in the home of a friend or family member who owns pets some day. When this encounter happens, don’t panic. Reduce the effects of pet dander by resisting the urge to pet, kiss, hug or cuddle an approaching animal. If you do own a pet, however, reducing the amount of dander-trapping rugs or carpets, implementing air filters and restricting the pet’s access to your bedroom could have you seeing a huge difference in allergies.
Find Allergy Relief at The Urgency Room
There’s no cure for seasonal allergies, but there are steps you can take to relieve your symptoms. You also can’t outrun allergies—allergens are virtually everywhere, meaning even a move to the middle of the dessert could leave you suffering. Whether you’ve fallen under attack by an especially windy day throwing tree pollen around or your best friend dropped by with their shedding pooch, you deserve to live free from suffering through allergies.
The Urgency Room of Woodbury, Eagan and Vadnais Heights is open 365 days per year—meaning you can come by even if your allergies get the best of you on weekends and holidays. Our caring physicians can assess and treat even your worst allergy symptoms to provide much-needed relief in a fraction of the time as you’d expect. If you’re tired of suffering from seasonal spring allergies and need help calling off your immune system, call or message The Urgency Room today.