Seasonal allergies can make it nearly impossible to spend time outdoors during certain times of the year. When airborne substances, such as pollen or plant spores, are present, they cause many people to experience chronic sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses. Without proper diagnosis, seasonal allergies can be challenging to manage. Let’s take a look at what you can do to manage these irritating seasonal allergy symptoms and find relief this allergy season.
Seasonal allergies, also referred to as "hay fever" or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are extremely common for people to experience as the seasons change. When a person has allergies, they may start to experience a number of symptoms when they come into contact with allergens in the air.
When a person experiences an allergic reaction will depend on the allergen that a person is allergic to. Some of these allergens are only present at certain times of the year, making it a bit easier to determine the culprit. During the spring season, the most common allergens come from tree pollen as the trees start to grow their leaves and bloom. During the summer months, seasonal allergies are typically caused by grasses, while in the fall they are commonly caused by ragweed.
Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe. Finding what works best for you to treat your symptoms may take some time and willingness to try new things. Although avoiding the allergens altogether is ideal to manage your symptoms, it is not realistic. In order to treat seasonal allergies, people may need to use natural remedies, over-the-counter medications or even prescribed treatment options to find relief.
Once a person’s body comes into contact with an airborne allergen, they’re immune system will try to fight it off. Oftentimes, the symptoms of seasonal allergies are mistaken for a common cold. So, if you notice that you develop a “cold” at the same time every year, you may actually have seasonal allergies.
When a person has seasonal allergies, they typically experience symptoms that affect their eyes, nose and throat. These symptoms range in severity and affect each person a bit differently.
Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies are:
In some cases, sinus infections may occur and should be treated immediately to avoid serious complications. Another common condition for seasonal allergy sufferers to have is asthma. This asthma may be caused by the same allergens that trigger the allergic reactions and can make breathing much more difficult. It is best to talk to a professional to discuss your symptoms thoroughly for proper diagnosing.
Because of the recurring symptoms each year, seasonal allergies can be diagnosed by talking to your doctor and having a quick examination. During the appointment, your doctor will want to get a complete understanding of your lifestyle, symptoms and any other necessary information about your health. Be sure to mention anything that you think may be relevant to your symptoms.
Some common questions your doctor might ask you are:
Once you and your doctor discuss the answers to these questions, they can determine if you are suffering from allergies and if they are seasonal, perennial, or pet related. Not only that, but it may help them determine which allergens are triggering the allergic response.
If they are unable to diagnose the issue in the consultation and examination, they may want to perform allergy tests to determine what is causing your symptoms. There are two types of tests: a skin test or a blood test. Typically a skin test offers results faster and is less expensive. During the test, the doctor will place a small amount of different potential allergens diluted in water on your skin. Then, they will prick the skin and observe for any potential reactions that may occur. After a few minutes, the body will react to the allergens that it finds harmful, identifying a person’s allergens.
If your skin is too sensitive to perform a skin test, a blood test can be done to identify potential allergens. A small sample of blood will be drawn and sent off to a lab for testing. After a few days, the doctor will analyze the results, determine what is causing your allergy symptoms, and recommend treatment options.
Although there isn’t a way to completely get rid of allergies, there are a variety of treatment options that allergy sufferers can use to find relief from seasonal allergies. The key to effectively managing your allergy symptoms is to be prepared. Be sure to have your preferred allergy treatment available to use either prior to exposure, or once you begin to experience symptoms. Here is a closer look at some of the options available to manage and treat allergy symptoms.
The most common treatment for seasonal allergies are antihistamines. When your body comes in contact with an allergen that it finds harmful, it releases a chemical called histamines. By taking antihistamines, you block the histamines in your body from triggering an allergic reaction and prevent allergy symptoms from starting. Antihistamines can provide relief from symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and a runny nose. These treatment options can be taken in various forms such as capsules, tablets, liquids, eye drops, injections, and nasal sprays.
Decongestants help relieve the pressure in the nose that result from seasonal allergies. By reducing inflammation of the blood vessels, the nasal passages open up, making it much easier to breathe. This form of treatment may provide some level of relief for symptoms, but will not treat the underlying causes of seasonal allergies. It is important to remember that decongestants should not be used more than a week at a time or they may actually make your symptoms worse.
Another way to get nasal relief is through the use of nasal sprays. These sprays act like decongestants and make breathing easier when struggling with allergy symptoms. Similar to decongestants, there are many types of sprays available. Talk to your doctor to learn if you need a prescription or if a simple saline solution spray will be able to help you manage your symptoms.
Eye drops can provide relief for red, watery or itchy eyes. There are many different types of eye drops, both over-the-counter and prescription. The cause of your eye irritation will determine the type of eye drop you will need to use to manage your symptoms. It is best to talk to a doctor to ensure proper medication is being used.
A long term treatment option for seasonal allergies is immunotherapy. During treatment, allergy shots or drops are taken to expose your body to the allergens that cause it to go into defense mode. This process is called desensitization. Over time, your body will learn not to respond to the allergen and reduce your allergy symptoms.
In order to have the treatment administered, you must visit your doctor multiple times a month for three to five years. Typically, treatment is taken every two to four weeks, for a period of three to five years. If the treatment plan is followed consistently, this form of treatment may provide long term relief and prove to be an effective solution for some seasonal allergy sufferers.
Recently, there has been a new advancement in immunotherapy where shots or drops are not required. Transdermal immunotherapy, also known as TdIT, introduces your body to the allergens it finds harmful through your skin, allowing the most natural exposure to the allergen.
During treatment, you will apply a transdermal allergy cream onto your forearm. After a 15 minute period, the allergens will be absorbed into your lymphatic system, where your immune system lives. Through this process, you are desensitizing your immune system to the allergens so that over time they will not trigger an allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions occur when a person whose immune system finds a certain substance harmful, when in reality it isn’t. There are a number of allergens that can trigger seasonal allergies. Most seasonal allergies are caused by:
Once their body is exposed to the allergen, it will try to defend itself from the allergen, triggering the allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies are caused by exposure to an airborne allergen. When a person’s immune system thinks that a certain substance is harmful, it tries to fight off the intruder, triggering allergy symptoms.
Unlike perennial allergies, seasonal allergies are active depending on what season it is. Certain allergens can only be found at certain times of the year and will only affect allergy sufferers when present.
Yes, transdermal immunotherapy does treat seasonal allergies to pollens from trees, grasses and weeds.
At ShotFree Allergy, we put you in contact with the physicians and specialty pharmacies that provide the latest in allergy treatments. In order to begin treatment, schedule an Online Appointment to discuss your allergy symptoms with an online provider. During the appointment you will discuss your allergy symptoms in order to determine if you are a good candidate for Transdermal Allergy Immunotherapy. If you are, a prescription will be issued and the pharmacy will mail you your treatment.
When starting treatment we recommend a few monthly visits to your Doctor as a standard safety protocol. If any Stay-At-Home order is in place, you may sign a consent form to apply your first dose at home with another person present. You will then apply the cream at home three times per week.
After the initial period of recommended visits to your Doctor, you can continue to apply the cream at home three times per week. For the remainder of your treatment, we recommend an annual checkup with an online provider.
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If you're tired of living with your seasonal allergies and want to learn more about our innovative transdermal allergy cream, schedule an appointment through ShotFree Allergy to talk to one of our providers and determine if you are a good candidate for a Transdermal Allergy Cream treatment plan.