Do you start sneezing and coughing when you go outside? If so, you could be suffering from seasonal allergies. Your allergist is an expert at diagnosing and treating seasonal allergies and can help you feel better.
Seasonal allergies can be caused by a wide variety of substances in your environment. These substances, known as allergens, can cause problems all year long, but seasonal allergies occur mostly in spring and summer, when plants grow, produce pollen, and bloom.
- Common seasonal allergens include:
- Flower and plant pollen
- Grass and weed pollen
- Trees and shrubs
There are other substances you might be allergic to which can develop during the winter months, when you are inside your home. These allergens include:
- Mold and spores
- Dust and dust mites
When you encounter an allergen, some of the signs and symptoms you might experience include:
- A skin rash or irritation
- Breathing difficulties
- A runny nose or nasal congestion
- Coughing or sneezing
- Sinus pressure or sinus headaches
- Itchy, watery, red eyes
- Inflamed or infected ears
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, it’s time for a visit to your allergist. Allergy treatment begins with allergy testing, to find out what substances you are allergic to.
Your allergist might perform allergy testing by injecting a tiny amount of the allergen just underneath your skin. If the area grows red, irritated, or raises up, you are allergic to the substance.
Once you know what you are allergic to, you can take some proactive steps to avoid exposure, including:
- Keeping doors and windows closed
- Using hypoallergenic sheets and linens
- Washing your sheets and pillowcases frequently
- Vacuuming frequently, or switching to hard flooring
Your allergist may recommend these effective ways to treat your seasonal allergies:
- Allergy shots
- Prescription-strength antihistamines and decongestants
- Sublingual immunotherapy drops
You don’t have to suffer from seasonal allergies when help and relief are just a phone call away. To find out more about the symptoms and causes of seasonal allergies, call your allergist today.