That last *achoo!* of summer might not have been be the last call for allergies this year. Seasonal allergies also flare up in the fall.
If your eyes are still watery and you’ve still got a pocketful of tissues, you’re not alone. Many allergy sufferers contend with the problem nearly year-round. But fortunately, there’s help.
What Causes Seasonal Allergy Symptoms?
Seasonal allergy symptoms are an immune response to something that shouldn’t ordinarily be a threat. For one reason or another, your body, and the bodies of your fellow allergy sufferers, go on high alert when certain substances are in the air.
When these substances are detected, your body’s immune system stages an attack. In this case, an attack means you start producing antibodies to fight off the perceived threat. Those antibodies trigger a release of histamine, and bingo — you’ve got itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, and probably some sneezing, too. You’ve got an allergy attack.
Which Allergens are Most Common in the Fall
Dust is always an allergy nuisance, but pollen is a seasonal hazard. You might notice that your car is covered with yellow pollen every spring. In the fall, pollen is still a culprit, but it’s a different kind. For such a lovely name, the genus Ambrosia is one of the primary producers of fall pollen.
You might know Ambrosia by its other name, as explained by WebMD. Its common moniker is ragweed. That probably sounds more familiar.
Ragweed is found throughout the country, and it’s a main cause of hay fever. However, WebMD says it’s more common in the eastern states and the Midwest. There are 17 different species of ragweed, too, but there’s still more. Each ragweed plant is capable of producing and releasing about a billion pollen spores throughout the season.
And it gets even better, or worse depending on your point of view. One spore can travel hundreds of miles. They’re so light, in fact, the spores have been detected as far as two miles into the earth’s atmosphere.
The traditional advice of avoiding pollen doesn’t seem to work when it’s ragweed season. Even where ragweed doesn’t grow, it is likely to travel.
WebMD says ragweed season has historically run from August through September. Now the season has been extended to October. With its propensity for travel and extended season, it might seem that there’s little way to escape the dreaded ragweed and its effects.
Part of that is true. Dr. Christine B. Franzese tells WebMD that to really avoid pollen altogether, most people would “need a hazmat suit.” Fortunately, there is a bright side.
Allergy Medications Give Dependable Relief for Seasonal Allergies
After all of the doom and gloom about the prolific ragweed pollen, the good news is that there are certain medications that can really help.
Clarinex is an oral medication that relieves most, if not all of the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Clarinex is an antihistamine. Many antihistamines are known to cause marked drowsiness. But this medication relieves symptoms without the sleepy effect.
Other medications are administered directly into the nose. Those include Flonase, Nasacort, and Nasonex. These nasal sprays are a different class of medication from Clarinex, and are known as corticosteroids.
Corticosterioids work in two ways. They help suppress the immune system, which is responsible for the allergic reaction, and they are also anti-inflammatory drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic. They help reduce swollen nasal passages.
Antihistamines help reduce the effect of allergy symptoms after the immune system releases the histamines that cause them. Corticosteroids help reduce the immune system’s reaction before it gets out of hand.
Neither class of medications is a failsafe against allergy attacks. But either can help make the symptoms more bearable.
Taking Measures to Reduce Allergen Exposure
Although it’s pretty clear that avoiding the pollen from ragweed is very difficult to do, you can help reduce your exposure if you’re diligent about it.
The Mayo Clinic says keeping indoor air clean and dry is a good first line of defense. Use an air purifier to help capture and remove pollen from the air inside your home. And to help keep the air drier, use a dehumidifier.
Forced air heat and cooling systems can blow allergens throughout the house. But if you invest in high-efficiency, allergen reducing air filters and change them regularly, you’ll breathe cleaner air.
Another culprit is something you’d normally think of as a tool for keeping your home clean. Vacuum cleaners don’t just take in dirt along with air, they also have an exhaust. With a HEPA filter installed on the vacuum, fewer pollen spores will make their way back out of the machine.
As for outdoors, there might not be a safe place when the pollen count is high. Fortunately, most television stations offer a pollen count along with the weather report. Take advantage of this information, and plan outdoor activities when the pollen count is lower. The Mayo Clinic also recommends taking your allergy medication before going outside.
There’s no failsafe when it comes to seasonal allergies. This is true, whether it’s spring or fall, and whether you’re indoors or out. But taking special precautions and keeping your home clean and dry can help.
For managing the symptoms of allergies, there are medications that can really help. And you don’t have to choose between staying in bed drowsy all day, or sneezing and dabbing your eyes. With non-drowsy relief, you really can get on with your life, no matter what time of year it happens to be.
eDrugstore.com sells antihistamines and corticosteroids that can help you manage spring allergies without hiding indoors. We offer privacy and convenience of online shopping, and your discreetly-packed shipment arrives right at your door. If you’re ready to try something that works, see what eDrugstore.com has to offer.
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