It is said that 60 million people in the United States have symptoms of seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever, affects between 10 and 30 percent of all adults and as much as 40 percent of all children in the U.S. alone. Many people often think that allergies only happen during the spring when all of the trees and flowers are blooming. This is not true as people can experience allergies throughout all of the seasons. The symptoms that affect people with seasonal allergies are the same throughout all of the seasons, but the cause of their allergies is much different. Each season has its own triggers and certain people will suffer at different times of the year. Recognizing the symptoms of allergies will help you understand when your allergies are at their worst and help you determine the cause.
There are six main symptoms that each allergy sufferer will experience no matter when their allergies flare up. These symptoms include: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and nose, and dark circles under the eyes. These symptoms may be mistaken for a cold or the flu in the winter, so you will have to wait a few days to see if the symptoms subside with cold or flu treatment. If not, you may have allergies during that time of the year. There are some other symptoms that a person may experience if they have seasonal allergies. These symptoms are not as common as the ones listed above, although it is still possible for people to have them. Some people may experience pain in the ears, on their face or in the sinuses. They could also have respiratory problems and they could begin wheezing if their allergies are severe enough. Many people can also experience fatigue, headache, loss of smell, phlegm and throat irritation.
Pollen is the biggest allergy trigger in the spring. Pollen is tiny grains that are released into the air by trees, grasses and weeds. This pollen fertilizes other plants. When the pollen gets into the nose of a person who is allergic, the immune system will see the pollen as an invader. It will then release antibodies to attack the allergens that causes the release of chemicals called histamines in the blood. These histamines will trigger the symptoms of allergies. Usually people will experience terrible allergy symptoms on days when the wind is blowing. Rainy days wash away allergens so people don't usually experience harsh symptoms on these days.
Summer allergies are similar to spring allergies. Instead of tress being one of the big triggers of this type of allergy, it is mostly due to grasses and weeds. The same thing happens with pollen and the reactions happen the same way in the summer as they do in the spring. Ragweed is one of the most common triggers for summer allergies. It can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind and affect people in places where it does not even grow. Dust mites also cause allergies. They love the warm and humid weather. They will nest in beds, carpet and fabric. Their residue gets into the air and causes the symptoms of allergies.
Much like in summer, ragweed is a big offender for fall allergies. People who are allergic to ragweed may also experience allergy symptoms because of foods like melons, zucchini and bananas. Mold can also trigger allergy symptoms in the fall. Mold is common in schools and in damp areas outside. Children going back to school may experience mold allergies more often in the fall. Mold spores can cause allergy symptoms to flare up. Dust mites are common in summer months, but they can get stirred up into the air when you turn on your heating unit for the first time in the fall.
Dust mites and mold are two of the common triggers of winter allergies. Mold can be found in damp, humid areas like bathrooms and basements. Dust mites love mattresses and beddings and when they become airborne they can trigger allergy symptoms. Animals are another trigger for winter allergies. Many people are allergic to proteins found in pet dander, saliva and urine and not pet hair itself. During the winter people are inside more, as are their animals. They are around this protein more so their allergy symptoms are triggered more in the winter by animals.
Allergy symptoms can make an unwelcome appearance any time of the year. Recognizing the symptoms will help you be able to pinpoint the cause of your allergies depending on what season your symptoms flare-up in. Keeping track of when your allergy symptoms come about will help you be able to be prepared to fight them off in the future.