Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, is simply put the inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the nasal passages caused by airborne pollens. Standard reactions include headache, sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat, and itchy, watery eyes.
If you have seasonal allergies you know it and you know when they start in your part of the world. In the spring and in the fall, when trees and grasses pollinate, a brand new allergy season cycles around. But do you where to find out the pollen count for your town or the best time to head outside on high allergen days?
Here are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Allergies
Moving to a new climate may not cure your allergies. It may curb your allergies for a little while but since grass and ragweed pollens are found nearly everywhere your relief may be short-lived. You may start reacting to the allergens in your new environment soon after you made your ill-fated allergy escaping move.
Pollen counts can predict bad allergy days for you because a high count means you are more likely to have symptoms, especially outside. Websites like The Weather Channel (Weather.com) and Pollen.com have pollen forecasters and trackers that will show you the pollen count for your area and help you plan your day.
Temperature, humidity and rain affect pollen levels and the best days for allergy sufferers outdoors are those days after heavy rains. Also, chilly and soggy days show the lowest pollen counts. On hot, dry and windy days the worst time for allergy sufferers is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so you will want to save trips outside until later in the day.
Hay fever doesn’t come from hay and it’s not a fever. The usual suspects of mold spores and weed, grass and tree pollens cause hay fever but if you are in a rural area where one might see some hay there is a good chance that the pollen count is higher and your allergies will kick into high gear as a result.
There is no cure for allergies but immunotherapy may be the next best thing. Immunotherapy, also called allergy shots, may reduce your reaction to certain allergens but you’ll need to commit to a treatment that includes a shot in the arm once a week for up to 30 weeks and then one shot every two weeks for the next two to four years.
Doing a little research on your local pollen levels and being proactive in your allergy relief tactics can lead to a less miserably allergy season for you and the people you care for.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Newsroom
Allergies Health Center – WebMD