What Are Seasonal Allergies?
When the seasons change, so does the world around you. The dreariness of winter gives way to colorful spring flowers. The summer sun makes gardens and grasses buzz with beauty. And fall turns the leaves from green to red and gold. These changes are beautiful, but for allergy sufferers, the start of a new season is the start of allergy misery.
Seasonal allergies like spring allergies are most often caused by pollens produced by trees, grasses and weeds. These pollen grains are light and dry enough to be carried through the air and can travel for miles — especially on windy days.
When inhaled by an allergy sufferer through the nose or mouth, pollen can cause the immune system to overreact, triggering an allergic reaction — and allergy symptoms.
What causes spring allergies and other seasonal allergies throughout the year? Here are key triggers by the season, which can vary by region:
- Spring: Tree pollens are the main culprit responsible for springtime allergies. The most common tree species that make spring allergy season miserable include oak, birch, cedar, elm and maple.
- Summer: Grass pollens are the biggest cause of summer allergies. Grass species including Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy, Johnson, rye and Bermuda grasses are the most notorious.
- Fall: Pollen from weeds is the main concern in the fall months. In fact, autumn is known as ragweed season because it’s so common, affecting nearly one in five Americans!
- Winter: Most outdoor allergens are dormant in the cold, wet seasons. But indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold or pet dander can make the winter months difficult.
What are Symptoms of Spring Allergies?
If you suffer from spring allergies or other seasonal allergies, you likely have nasal allergy symptoms. The most common allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
- Nasal allergy congestion
- Runny nose with thin, clear mucus
- Itchy nose
- Itchy throat, and itchy/watery eyes*
Nasal allergy congestion can be the most challenging symptom for allergy sufferers, and the hardest to relieve. There are many over the counter allergy medicine options available to help manage symptoms. However, when stuffiness makes you so miserable you suffer — see how Nasacort relieves even the worst nasal allergy congestion.
*Nasacort is not indicated for relieving these symptoms and should only be used as directed for nasal allergy symptom relief.
Allergies or Cold?
Because colds and allergies share many of the same symptoms, it’s hard to distinguish between the two. However, if you have any of these symptoms and are also experiencing fatigue, sore throat, aches and pains and have thick, colorful mucus, there’s a good chance you have a cold. If cold symptoms last longer than 10 days, contact your doctor.
How Long Do Spring Allergies Last?
When does spring allergy season start —and for those suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms spring can bring — when does it end? Allergies occur at around the same time every year and last as long as the allergen is in the air. However, warmer-than-average winter temperatures and climate change have led to spring allergy season starting earlier and ending later.
That means tree pollination can now begin as early as February and last through May. In some parts of the country, grass pollen can now permeate the air in spring. If you have a spring allergy, that means you can suffer for four months.
6 Tips For Managing Spring Allergy Season
Avoiding allergens in the first place can help you avoid the seasonal allergy symptoms that make you suffer. Here are 6 tips to help:
- Know Your Pollen Count
Checking pollen levels in your area can help you limit your outdoor activity and know when to leave the house so you can prepare for and plan around high pollen days.
- Close Your Windows
Unfortunately, the fresh spring air is no help to you. Keep your windows and doors shut to keep out pollen spores that can circulate and settle inside your home.
- Use an Air Filter
Installing a good air filter in your home, like a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, can trap pollen and other allergens inside your house such as dander — especially helpful if you also suffer from pet allergies.
- Take Those Shoes Off
Before you head inside, remove your shoes and leave them outside before entering the house to help keep pollen out.
- Shower After Spending Time Outside
Once you get inside, remove your clothes and toss them in the wash, then shower to wash pollen off your skin and hair so it doesn’t transfer onto your chairs, bed and pillows.
- Manage Your Symptoms with Medication
If you can’t avoid allergens, then relieve your symptoms with allergy medication. There are many different kinds of over the counter allergy medicine available today. Over the counter oral antihistamines and decongestants can help.Nasacort relieves even your worst nasal allergy congestion for 24-hour, non-drowsy relief.‡
Spring allergies and other seasonal allergies can make you miserable. Especially when they cause nasal allergy congestion. By knowing what causes your allergies and how to avoid allergy triggers, you can better manage through allergy season. And if stuffiness makes you suffer — see how Nasacort has proven relief for your worst nasal allergy congestion.
‡It may take up to one week of daily use to feel the most symptom relief.
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