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For many people, the onset of spring doesn’t bring with it the happy thoughts of flowers blooming, snow melting, and birds singing. Instead, it brings thoughts of sneezing and coughing, a stuffed-up nose and watery eyes. For many people, spring just means spring allergies. The annual allergy session is uncomfortable, irritating, and plain disruptive to life’s usual spring activities. And that’s why your best defense is knowing how to most efficiently fight the most common spring allergies.
Allergies occur when the body reacts to an allergen in the air or one that enters the body. Allergens are substances that are perceived as harmful by the body, as they are a type of antigen, which elicits a negative immune response. Not everyone suffers from allergies, because not everyone’s immune cells perceive these antigens as harmful. For some people, pollen, grass and other airborne particles are treated no differently than other substances that reach the body, and as such, an allergic reaction does not occur. For those whose cells do perceive the antigen as harmful however, the side effect of this immune reaction in the body are the symptoms typically experienced during an allergic reaction, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, a rash, hives, and congestion. The most common spring allergies are those to pollen, including grass and flowers.
While the obvious answer for developing spring allergies is because spring arrives, it goes a little deeper than that. For example, you may have noticed that some years your spring allergies are worse than others; or that sometimes they seem to peak at an earlier or later time in the season. The severity of the allergy symptoms you experience is impacted by the quantity and degree of allergens occurring in the air and in the environment, as well as individual immunity. If there is a particularly high number of allergens in the air, your symptoms may be more severe. Likewise, if you are currently sick, suffer from other illnesses, or your immune system is already depleted from previous sickness, you will also be more likely to be impacted by the antigens and spring allergy triggers.
The degree of impact that occurs is indeed a key component of allergies and a predominant contributor to how you react and treat your symptoms. Understanding how allergies work and how they are caused, is the first step in understanding how to fight the most common spring allergies. This is important because allergies can have a negative impact on the life of the sufferer: for many of those effected, allergies cause severe disruptions to daily functioning, including fatigue and low energy, headaches, difficulty breathing, and overall feelings of illness.
Without proper allergy treatment, not only does one experience the symptoms and effects as detailed above, but there is also the potential for long-term health problems. Allergies left unchecked put a constant strain on the immune system, whereby it is forced to frequently work in overdrive much of the time. Just like a car eventually breaks down when it doesn’t get refueled and regularly serviced, the immune system does the same thing: it starts to wear down, being unable to do its job to optimal capacity, increasing the risk of development of additional illness and increasing severity of allergy symptoms. When the immune system is tired, it is no longer able to have its barriers of protection up. As a result, the body is suddenly exposed to more harm in the environment, eventually leading the sufferer to become severely ill or develop severe infections such as pneumonia.
The best way to avoid all this of course, is to fight allergies as soon as they develop and work to support the immune system to boost its health and functioning. Here are some suggestions for what you can do:
Whatever allergy it is that you suffer from, know that your body is doing its best to help you fight it and get healthy again. Now you can help it out by using this new understanding of how allergies work, as well as these practical tips for fighting allergy symptoms and spring allergy outbreaks.