Warm Weather Triggering Your Allergies?
Dusting out the shorts and barbecuing in the middle of February seems unheard-of. Well, for the past week many fellow Chicagoans have taken full advantage of the record-high temperatures to enjoy some much-needed outdoor activities. However, for many the warm weather brought a big downside: allergies.
The unseasonably warm temperatures have triggered an early onset of spring allergies in many adults and children who suffer from seasonal allergies. The warm weather brings more rainfall which causes mold spores and tree pollen to be present in the air- which is very unusual for the middle of winter.
What Exactly Triggers Allergies in the Body and What are the Symptoms?
With mold spores and tree pollen present in the air, we inhale tiny spores and pollen grains which causes our immune system to mistakenly see pollen and mold as a threat to our bodies and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. This war in our body leads to the release of mediators including histamine into our blood stream. Histamine release causes symptoms of runny nose, sneezing and itching.
More Common Symptoms of Allergies Include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy throat and eyes
- Pollen can also aggravate asthma symptoms causing an increase in coughing and wheezing.
Management and Treatment
TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS: If you suffer from spring allergies, start taking allergy medications early. There are effective over-the-counter medications in the market including antihistamines and nasal spray, however your physician can prescribe you different agents if needed.
INDOORS: Take a shower immediately after being outside. Yes, that means do not sit on the couch or lay on the bed after coming inside. Hanging around the house disperses the pollen and other allergens in the home. Even if you are tempted to get some fresh air, do not open the windows as this will cause pollen to get inside your home thus adding to your misery!
ALLERGY SHOTS: One of the most effective ways to treat allergies is through allergy shots (immunotherapy). Allergy shots expose your immune system to the specific substances your body is allergic to. Over time, your body is desensitized to these agents leading to relief of allergy symptoms, and often with lasting effects. These shots not only help with allergies, but also asthma and eczema that is related to allergies.
BE PREPARED AND KNOW WHAT YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO?
Through testing, an allergist can help you identify which allergens bring on your symptoms. An allergist can also help you determine which medications will work best for your set of triggers.
Chicago ENT is Chicago’s premier ear, nose, and throat advanced specialty center. Whether you have suffer from allergies, asthma or sinus infections, we can help. Our allergists are experts in the diagnosis and management of allergies, asthma, and immune-deficiencies. They provide comprehensive care to both children and adults suffering from all forms of allergies and breathing issues.
Chicago ENT board-certified physicians and specialists combine diagnoses and comprehensive treatments plans to provide you with relief from your allergy and asthma symptoms. In addition, we are the only ENT specialty center that lets you schedule your appointment whenever you want – even in the middle of the night – thanks to our 24/7 appointment desk. To schedule your appointment with one of our multi-disciplinary teams of allergy experts, please call us at 773.296.5500 or schedule online 24/7-click here!