This time of year, we can’t blame anyone who is looking ahead to the spring season. Warmer temperatures and sunny days aren’t too far off and we can’t wait to see all the great things this spring has in store. However, for many people lovely spring weather and fun activities are accompanied by dreadful season allergies. Sometimes referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to an outdoor allergen. The result is coughing, sneezing, sinus pressure, and difficulty breathing. But what causes seasonal allergies and is there anything that can be done to prevent them from ruining our otherwise lovely spring? Keep reading to find out.

The most common cause of season allergies is pollen. During the spring allergy season when pollen levels are at their highest, trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny grains of pollen into the air to fertilize other plants. Some pollens can coat cars, streets, window sills, and virtually any other outdoor surface. When grains of pollen enter a person’s system through inhalation, they can begin to wreak havoc on the body’s defenses and set off an allergic reaction.

When the immune system encounters pollen, it labels it as a dangerous foreign element and reacts by releasing antibodies to combat it. This triggers the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. These histamines are responsible for common allergy symptoms like congestion, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, and more.

In many cases, spring allergies can be very simple to diagnose. If you only experience symptoms during the spring season, it can be a giveaway that you’re suffering from season-dependent allergies. During an appointment, our healthcare providers may also check your ears, nose, and throat to help make an accurate diagnosis. Depending on your symptoms and preferences, treatment options may include over-the-counter medications or prescription meds. There are also simple steps you can take to try to prevent excess exposure to pollen during allergy season including keeping your doors and windows shut, regularly clearing air filters and vents, and avoiding cigarette smoke, which can aggravate allergy symptoms.

Don’t let seasonal allergies ruin your spring. If you experience hay fever and seek a treatment that will work for you, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with one of our experienced primary care healthcare providers. For more information or to schedule your appointment today, please contact Family Practice Center in Atlanta. You can also follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.