Seasonal allergies: Causes and Treatment

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  • 2 months ago
Dr. Sushmita Gupta
ENT Specialist / Otorhinolaryngology

Seasonal allergies: Causes and Treatment

In this video, Dr. Sushmita Gupta, Consultant ENT at Apollo Clinic Chandigarh. Discusses about seasonal allergies.

What are seasonal allergies?

Any allergy that occurs in particular weather, we call that reaction of the body a seasonal allergy. It is also known as hay fever, spring allergy, summer allergy, or allergic rhinitis. When allergens come inside the body, our immune system reacts against them. It results in the development of symptoms that we see as allergic symptoms. 

Causes of seasonal allergies

Anything that can trigger an allergic response in the immune system are called allergens. Some examples of allergens are pollen from trees or grass, pollen grains, fungus, mould, and pet hairs. It is more common in summer or during the harvesting season. There is a high concentration of pollen in the air. During winter, it recedes. However, in a few patients, there may be an annual reaction or anytime during the year. If you have an allergy during a particular season. Then you are allergic to pollen which is found in that specific season. 

Common indications or symptoms

Some specific symptoms are prevalent during allergies, like sneezing, nose blockage, and running nose. Itchy eyes, red eyes, watery eyes, and irritation in the eyes, ears, and nose can also occur. Also, one may feel irritation in the throat. In addition, one may have post-nasal discharge

Rare symptoms

Less common symptoms include headache, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and dry cough. Few may develop asthma with allergic symptoms. However, in these cases, these allergens may trigger asthma attacks.

Why do allergies occur?

Sometimes our immune system identifies the airborne-harmless particles as dangerous elements. As a result, the body produces certain chemical elements and histamines against it in the blood. These chemical elements stimulate allergic symptoms inside the body. 

How to avoid an episode of allergic reaction?

First and foremost, one needs to reduce exposure to trigger agents. Like if you are allergic to a particular season then try to stay indoors at home and restrict outside hangouts. Use facemasks when you go outside. Avoid outdoor activities in the morning as the pollen count is maximum in the morning air. Close all the windows and doors at night. 

Do we need air filters ?

One can use a dehumidifier to dry up the air in the house. One can install HEPA filters. As much as possible, avoid gardening and furniture dusting. The second thing is to rinse their nasal cavity and sinuses. Saline Nasal irrigation is rapid, inexpensive. It is an effective method for nasal congestion. 

How to make nasal saline at home?

It is available in readymade formulations. One can easily procure them, and even you can make them at home. To make saline suspension at home, take 1 litre of water and add one and a half teaspoons of common salt and half teaspoon of baking soda and create a solution. You can use it and rinse your nasal cavity with this solution. 

Treatment for Seasonal Allergies

For its treatment, there are some available over-the-counter drugs like antihistamines and oral decongestants that one can take. They can help in reducing sneezing, nasal congestion, and discharge. One may also use corticosteroid nasal spray. 

Immunotherapy

Another prevalent modality of treatment that is gaining popularity these days is immunotherapy. It is a desensitisation therapy. In this, we introduce allergens in a minute quantity via injection. As a result, the immune response towards allergens slowly starts receding, and there is healing in symptoms. Apart from injections, they are also available in sub-lingual tablet forms. So one should identify seasonal allergic symptoms and take precautions so you’re healthy and symptom-free. Thank you.

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