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MAIN Arrow to HealthHealth Arrow to DiseaseDiseases Arrow to AllergiesAllergies

Is It Always Allergy Season?

Pretty Flowers can cause allergies
What time of the year is
allergy season? It's anytime
for some allergy sufferers.

When the local newscasters announce that allergy season has arrived do you just shake your head? Allergy season can be a pretty misleading term.

The budding trees and blooming flowers associated with the early return of spring, "rose fever," may mean itchy eyes or worse if you suffer from allergies to grass and tree pollen. The cooler days of fall may make you cry if your body reacts to "hay fever," caused by ragweed and other air borne pollens that show up as the summer ends.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis may get all of the publicity, but year round allergies can be worse. Allergies to dust, animals, mold, food and other common environmental allergies can be difficult to keep under control. Dust doesn't suddenly appear and disappear, it is always there.

But even seasonal allergies can last for months. While many consider allergies to be just a nuisance, in severe cases the symptoms can mimic a bad flu. Seasonal allergies may trigger asthma attacks when irritating pollen causes a build up of fluid in the lungs.

"Dust doesn't suddenly appear and disappear, it is always there..."

Many allergy sufferers wind up with secondary infections involving the sinuses, ears, throat, nose and lungs from untreated symptoms. The fluid that your body produces in an attempt to wash away the pollen provides a warm nutrient bath for bacteria to grow.

Allergy sufferers don’t have to cope with the symptoms on their own. An allergist or immunologist can offer relief and a plan to control the symptoms as well as the secondary infections that can occur. There are allergy treatments that range from pills and nasal inhalants to shots that trick your immune system into accepting the pollen. These treatments may not eliminate the discomfort of allergies, but they can make the symptoms less disruptive to the activities you enjoy.

If you wonder how many allergy sufferers actually see a doctor about their symptoms, patients looking for relief from allergy symptoms make 14.1 million physician office visits and run up an overall cost of $6 billion each year. Many go after years of self-medication with over the counter drugs. The fact is that the prescriptions you receive from a doctor can be tailored to your specific allergies and tend to work better than medications that are available without a prescription.

also see -> How to minimize pet allergies | Ten tips to ease spring allergies

When to see an allergy/asthma specialist

The AAAAI’s How the Allergist/Immunologist Can Help: Consultation and Referral Guidelines Citing the Evidence provides information to assist patients and health care professionals in determining when a patient may need consultation or ongoing specialty care by the allergist-immunologist.

Patients should see an allergist-immunologist if they:

  • Have prolonged or severe symptoms of rhinitis.

  • Have nasal polyps.

  • Have co-existing conditions such as asthma or recurrent sinusitis.

  • Have symptoms interfering with quality of life and/or ability to function.

  • Have found medications to be ineffective or have had adverse reactions to medications.

  • Are a child with allergic rhinitis, because immunotherapy may potentially prevent the development of asthma.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)

More about year-round allergies around the Web:

Year-Round and Seasonal Allergies - National Sleep Foundation

What Causes Year Round Allergies?


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