woman-about-to-sneezeAfter another long and cold winter, we know we’re not alone in being grateful for the arrival of spring. However, for all the loveliness and gifts that the spring season brings, it can also be a difficult time for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Some people call it hay fever, some people call it pollen season. Regardless of what you call it, it’s a fact that seasonal allergies can put a major dent in your spring plans and lead to several uncomfortable and persistent symptoms. In order to help our readers get through the spring season feeling their best, the family medicine providers here at Family Practice Center thought it would be a good time to discuss some true and false statements about spring seasonal allergies.

It’s True That seasonal allergies can affect people of all ages. While there is a misconception that they are more of an issue for children and adolescents, this simply is not the case. Some people do grow out of their seasonal allergies, but many others don’t and it’s also common to develop seasonal allergies in your 30’s or later. We provide allergy assistance (including prevention techniques) to anyone struggling with this, but we must first diagnose the type of allergan that is giving you trouble so we can treat it correctly.

It’s False That spring allergies only cause respiratory symptoms. While we commonly associate this season with symptoms like coughing, sneezing, congestion, and breathing issues, the truth is that the effects of seasonal allergies can be far more wide-ranging for some people. In addition to those more common symptoms, seasonal allergies can also cause headaches, itching in the mouth, fatigue, irritability, and even hearing issues due to ear congestion.

It’s True That there is a connection between seasonal allergies and food allergies. Even people who don’t experience serious food allergies can have their seasonal allergy symptoms triggered or worsened by certain things they eat. For instance, certain foods like some nuts, fruits, and vegetables contain proteins that are similar to pollen, and can have similar effects this time of year. This is known as oral allergy syndrome or pollen food allergy syndrome. Knowing your allergy triggers can be life-changing.

It’s False That allergy medicines should be taken only after you experience symptoms. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Most allergy medications are most effective when taken in a proactive way, before any symptoms start to set in. Doing so will help protect your immune system from pollen by blocking the release of immune system chemicals that trigger allergic reactions. With many effective allergy medicines available, it is crucial to find the right one for your needs and make sure there is no conflict with other medications you are taking.

With effective medications and treatment options available, it’s important to take seasonal allergies seriously and get a jump on addressing the issue before it ruins your spring. For more information on spring allergies or to schedule an appointment at one of our seven metro Atlanta area locations (including our brand newest locations in Buckhead and Johns Creek), please contact Family Practice Center today. Stay up to date on our blog posts for more health and wellness tips, news, and so much more.