What Is Seasonal Allergies?

INTRODUCTION

Allergy is a worldwide phenomenon, and is unfortunately, steadily increasing. It affects different body systems, causing different diseases of differing severity. This article deals with “what is seasonal allergies”, causes of seasonal allergy, seasonal allergies symptoms, and advises on what to do about seasonal allergies.

Allergy is a common condition, whereby the immune system of an affected individual reacts to common substances in the environment, in a manner that exceeds that of the majority of people (“normal” people).

Seasonal allergies are allergic disorders that tend to come in a seasonal fashion. There are many types of seasonal allergies, and in this article we will be looking at seasonal allergy due to inhaled allergens / airborne allergens. (Allergens are substances that trigger allergic reactions.)

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LINKS TO PRODUCTS FOR SEASONAL ALLERGY TREATMENT

Already interested in what to do for seasonal allergies?  Here are listed some medications from Amazon.com, to be kept at home for prevention or treatment of allergy and itchy symptoms.

Please consult with your Pharmacist. Do read and comply with the package insert, and routinely check the expiry date of medications kept in the home.

* Antihistamines, Sedating type

#Ad   Chlorpheniramine (ER) tablets

 

* Antihistamines, Non-sedating type

#Ad   Cetirizine tablets

 

* #Ad   Fluticasone nasal spray (for prevention of hayfever)

 

WHAT IS SEASONAL ALLERGY DISTRIBUTION?

Allergy affects one in five (1/5) to one in four (1/4) people. Although occurring globally, it has been noted to be more prevalent, and to be increasing faster, in Developed Countries and urban areas. The reason is a combination of industrial activity which causes pollution, and high standards of living which lead to people living in such areas not being accustomed to antigens (this is called “The Hygiene Hypothesis”).

Seasonal allergy due to inhaled allergens is no exception to this distribution and trend. Industrialisation and urbanisation cause emission of a lot of gases and fumes into the environment / air. This, coupled with a lot of vegetation in some populated areas, leads to a huge burden of allergies.

BASIC IMMUNOLOGY (ALLERGY SCIENCE)

(This has been simplified a great deal, and helps to understand more what is allergy and how to get rid seasonal allergies. But some Readers can still find this in-depth exploration of allergy too difficult to understand. Kindly proceed to the next paragraph if not interested in this section.)

When the offending agent enters the body, and for the purposes of this article, through the inhaled route, it triggers a chain of events. This chain involves not one, but multiple mediators of the allergic response. The immune mediators include mast cells, white blood cells called eosinophils and basophils, and chemicals such as histamine and interleukin.

Allergic reactions are of four subtypes and differ in speed of onset and duration. They also differ in the immune mediators involved.

Some reactions begin in seconds, while others start after hours. Late reactions could manifest in a day or two. As a result of these different immunological patterns, the manifestation and progression of allergy is very varied.

Pharmacological agents for the prevention and treatment of allergic disorders, target the different players in the immune cascade. A few of these pharmacological treatments, which can be bought over the counter (no prescription needed) are listed above in the third paragraph, to help the Reader with sourcing the medication for seasonal allergies treatment. They don’t cure seasonal allergies, but they prevent and control them.

MAJOR CAUSES OF SEASONAL ALLERGY

Firstly, it needs to be stated that allergy is multifactorial. It can be caused by genetic and environmental factors, or both.

Is seasonal allergy inherited? There is definitely a tendency of allergies to run in families, and twin studies also support an inheritable component. But even in the presence of an inherited propensity to allergy, there has to be at least one environmental trigger factor for symptoms to ensue.

Twins. Great for Genetic studies.

By far the commonest causes of airborne seasonal allergy are POLLENS. These include grass pollens and tree pollens.

It should be remembered that brightly coloured flowers are pollinated by insects, birds and animals (including humans) and that their pollens are big and sticky. On the other hand, grasses, whose flowers are dull, are pollinated by wind, and have small sized pollens which can be carried by the wind, and enter the airways with much more ease. As a result, grass pollens are more important in the causation of allergy, than tree pollens and other pollens from brightly coloured flowers.

Dust is the other offender. The amount of environmental dust varies in a seasonal fashion. However, the unfolding Climate Change is gradually obliterating the previously known wind patterns, with strong winds frequently occurring throughout the year in many places.

Pollutants such as are emitted from industrial sites, don’t follow a particular seasonal pattern, and will not be discussed in any further detail. It will only be said that allergens do work in synergy and that many allergy sufferers are allergic to not one, but several allergens. Therefore, pollutants could worsen allergy symptoms brought upon by grass during peak grass pollen season, for example.

Airborne allergens affect different parts of the body.

  • They affect the eyes causing Allergic Conjunctivitis,
  • the nose where they cause Allergic Rhinitis (“Hayfever”),
  • and the lungs wherein they cause Asthma and Allergic Bronchitis.
  • On the skin, they do trigger Allergic Dermatitis.

Again, many allergy sufferers have a combination of these ailments e.g. they may have Allergic Rhino-Conjunctivitis, or Rhinitis + Asthma.

While some allergy sufferers may, from close observation, be able to identify possible trigger(s) for their symptoms, the surest way of knowing as to what agents they are allergic to, is through ALLERGY TESTING.

There are tests of various efficacy (sensitivity) and cost. Furthermore, the tests often detect additional agents to which the client would not have been aware that they are allergic.

Knowing what substances (inhaled, ingested or applied to the skin) one is allergic to, is very important because ALLERGEN AVOIDANCE is the cornerstone of the management of allergy.

CONCLUSION

Seasonal allergy is very prevalent throughout the world and is increasing due to many factors. The allergy symptoms are also getting worse because of worsening climate change. This climate change is also causing the allergy season to get longer and longer throughout the world.

Awareness, education and knowledge sharing empower allergy affected individuals and families to live meaningful and productive lives. Thus they can live happily despite having a condition that many a times is a lifelong propensity.

We have answered the question, “what is seasonal allergy”?

In the next article on seasonal allergies, we shall discuss

  • when is allergy season, and
  • when is allergy season over.

We will also provide more tips on allergy avoidance and management (what to do about seasonal allergies).

ANY COMMENTS?

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18 Replies to “What Is Seasonal Allergies?”

  1. Hey nice article you have there. Your thoughts are indeed invaluable. it is important to note that Allergies are usually experience when the seasons shift, because different pollens and other allergens are wafting through the air. So as spring melts into summer, you might feel crummy more often because of all the flower pollens you might have come in contact with

    1. Thanks for your contribution.

      You are right. And the Spring is giving way to Summer in some parts of the world, hence the timing of the article.

  2. Awesome review on seasonal allergies, in further discussion, seasonal allergies result from exposure to airborne substances (such as pollens) that appear only during certain times of the year. Seasonal allergies cause itchy skin, a runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes itchy or watery, bloodshot eyes.
    There are two tyoes of seasonal , one which occurs only during the time of year in which certain plants pollinate, and perennial, which occurs year-round…
    Hope this helps you understand the concept more…

  3. Hello dear, what wonderful content you have here, your website is an educative one, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your post, I really wished I saw it sooner, your description of each word’s you shared make it easier for the readers to form an opinion, thanks for sharing such exclusive concise information with us all, I’ll surely do some recommendations, your website is the best

    1. Thank you so very much! 😊😊 Thanks indeed for your kind words.

      And sorry that you did not find the website sooner – we are working hard on building the website with quality content, having just started on 2nd April. At the same time, we are already working on disseminating the website. It’s heavy work because we don’t compromise on quality.

      We intend to make the website one of the most informative and most authoritative websites in the field of Health, Wellbeing and Environmental issues.

      We shall keep building volumes of content for everyone from children to the elderly, so please keep revisiting us and, thanks in advance for sharing our website with your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances.

      Warmest regards.

  4. Hello there, you have made me understand alot about allergy.

    Seasonal allergy is growing truly due to the rapid climate change. With this article one will know how to manage his or her self during allergies. I have just discovered that I am allergic to animal fur ,should it be classified as seasonal allergy and do recommend any drugs or therapy? Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your input and for sharing your story!

      Animal fur allergy is likely to be troublesome the whole year round, and not in certain seasons only. It is important to note that it’s not only live animals that could precipitate allergic symptoms. Garments made of animal fur are equally capable of provoking an allergic person.

      If you live in an area where there are animals whose fur you are allergic to, then in the dry, windy seasons you are likely to experience more symptoms.

      Avoidance of the animal fur, to the best of your ability, is of paramount importance. You will have to rely on garments made of alternative material. Therapy in the form of medication, is done based on the severity of the symptoms, but starting with the mildest, most affordable pharmacotherapies.

      In some instances, people get a form of therapy called DESENSITISATION, which is done by specialist Allergy centres. This removes the ability or tendency of an allergic person to react to allergens.

      Regards.

  5. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful piece of information here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your article as it contains useful informations one can hold on to, you have really answered most of my questions on allergy causes and effects, but i must ask, is it possible for someone to outgrow an allergy?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your input. Glad that you have found help in the article.

      Yes indeed, some people do outgrow allergies, at different ages. But it is not possible to predict who will be lucky enough and outgrow it.

      Stay safe!

  6. I found this article with information on allergies and what causes them, as well as the effects they can have on people, very interesting.  I am battling a big flareup of my asthma right now from spring pollens and dust in the air.  Thanks for the suggestions of over the counter meds that might help also.  Its nice to know some of this background stuff about the allergies that are making me miserable this spring. -Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley,

      Thanks for your contributions.

      Glad that we could be of help to you. The article is exactly timed to coincide with the Spring in some parts of the world.

      Please take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Stay strong. Keep smiling – it’s good for your immune system!

      Regards.

  7. This article is extremely helpful to me. For the last several weeks my asthma has been terrible due to the pollens and dust in the spring air. I cough all the time and it is really tiring. I’m definitely going to try a couple of the over the counter meds you suggest. I’m hopeful also to be able to see a doc about my allergies. Thanks for this very helpful article describing the potential causes and effects of allergies on people like myself. Thank you again -Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley,

      Thanks once again for your valuable input.
      I have responded to your other comment.
      I wish you success in battling the flare-ups at this time. On a positive note, you may be aware how COVID-19 has caused a decrease in pollution levels because of lockdowns on human activity. Every cloud has a silver lining.

  8. Hi 

    You have truly answered most of my questions on the subject of allergy causes and effects. I wouldn’t want to have to be home bound when the allergy season starts. Out of the options to help sufferers from this debilitating condition,  what would you suggest is the most effective and helpful treatment overall. 

    Thank you for this informative article, 

    Regards,  Bernardo 

    1. Hi Bernardo,

      Thank you very much for your input.

      The most important piece of advice is, know what you are allergic to, as thoroughly as possible. And the only way to have the full picture, is through Allergy Tests like RAST. Armed with this knowledge, one can then take all appropriate steps to AVOID the allergens.

      If symptoms still crop up despite avoidance measures, then treatment can be instituted in a stepwise fashion, depending on which organ or system is involved. The treatment should always be done with the guidance of a Healthcare professional. Otherwise people may underestimate the severity of their condition, or sometimes buy over-the-counter medications that are way too much and not the first line of therapy e.g. steroids in their various formulations.

      It should also be mentioned that certain medications that are useful for allergy symptoms like itchiness, may not be suitable for concurrent allergic diseases e.g. Antihistamines in the case of people who also have asthma. So please, consult the local Health Practitioner and agree on a management plan which can then be followed at home.

      Thanks and best wishes!

  9. Wow! I had no idea untill now what causes seasonal allergies,but you explained it perfectly! I didn’ t imagine that you could prevent grass or flower pollens for instance to walk in direction that wind blows, not against it, if you are on a hike or just walking. And allergy free home – I have never thought in this way to prevent allergies. Thank god no one in my family has allergies, but on my wife’s side there a couple of her family memnbers that do suffer from seasonal allergies, and thanks to you I can now tell how to prevent or ease allergy. Thank you very much!Cheers,

    Primoz P.

    1. Thanks very much for sharing your story.

      Congratulations for not having allergies on your side.

      What sometimes happens in you and your wife’s setup, is that SOME of your children (and it tends to be the boys) MAY inherit the genes for allergy, which may manifest at some point in their lives, or never at all. It’s important to avail the Family History information to your Healthcare professional when your offspring seek medical attention, especially if the cause of their illness is not yet clear.

      Regards.

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