When your immune system reacts to something that doesn’t bother most of the population at a specific time of the year, you must suffer from seasonal allergies. People with seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis) always react to pollen. So, one can react to a specific plant’s pollen or more than one plant’s pollen. Besides pollen, one can also react to mould spores. Whatever causes your allergy symptoms to flare up will still make you feel miserable, as it can make you feel fatigued.
Most of the time, seasonal allergies are confused with a cold. Even though these two share some symptoms, it’s necessary to be keen. You’ll notice that with an allergy, the symptoms won’t go away within a week or two. However, they’ll last for as long as it’s pollination season. The best way to diagnose your symptoms is by taking an Allergy Test, which will give you a clear answer on the prognosis.
What are seasonal allergies?
When you’re allergic to a substance, often referred to as an allergen, your immune system treats it as an intruder, the same way it would treat a bacteria or virus. In response, your immune system releases chemicals, including histamines, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes. These substances cause a cluster of allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and others. The severity of your reaction to the allergen depends on how threatened your body feels by the allergen. For example, when it comes to pollen, most people don’t find it an issue, while some people’s immune systems find it a nuisance. Alternatively, other people’s immune systems overreact in a way that will only need medication for the entirety of pollen season.
When you have seasonal allergies, breathing in pollen means that it will get stuck in your nasal passages like everyone else. However, the difference occurs when it causes inflammation and irritation to the nose and eyes for those with seasonal allergies. Those with little to no pollen tolerance result in their breathing getting affected, which can lead to the development of asthma.
Common seasonal allergy symptoms
The common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
- Postnasal drip (throat drainage)
- Runny nose and watery eyes
Causes of seasonal allergies
The typical seasonal allergies include:
- Tree pollen in March/ April
- Ragweed in the Autumn
- Grass pollen in June/ July
- Mould in the Autumn
The above are seasonal allergies. However, there is a different group of allergies known as perennial allergies that can affect you all year round. These allergies include dust mites, mould, animal dander, and pest droppings.
What is an at-home allergy test?
When you think you are suffering from an allergy, you need an allergist to help diagnose you. Usually, the allergies will look for ways to conduct an allergy test to come up with a conclusive answer on exactly what’s affecting your body. This requires tests against various allergens which can be in your food as well as the environment. However, when you get allergy symptoms only in certain seasons of the year, the most likely culprit is one or more kinds of pollen.
An at-home allergy test is one you can order online and then have it delivered to your doorstep within three days without you having to pay for shipping. This allergy test has instructions on how to take a sample by simply pricking your finger and then sending the sample back to the lab. Once your sample is back at the lab, scientists do tests of your sample against various allergens, and you get back your results via email within a week. An at-home allergy test is convenient since you don’t have to step out of your home and make your appointments so you can get in a test.
How to treat seasonal allergies
There are various ways to treat seasonal allergies. Over-the-counter prescriptions like antihistamines can help suppress your body’s immune system providing relief to your symptoms. If you suffer from excessive congestion, decongestants can help sort out that issue for you. Steroid nasal sprays can also help with your symptoms. However, if all these aren’t helping, your doctor can get you started on immunotherapy. This can be given in two ways:
- Sublingual immunotherapy: These are tablets or drops used as injection alternatives that dissolve under the tongue. Sublingual immunotherapy can only be offered to those with grass and ragweed allergies.
- Subcutaneous injections: Once you know your allergies, your doctor can administer a series of shots with those specific allergens. These shots can be administered over months or years at the doctor’s office, usually through the arm.
How to manage seasonal allergies
Even though it’s hard to entirely avoid pollen since it’s in the air, there are ways that you can minimise exposure to seasonal allergies. These include:
- Check the daily pollen count scores before leaving your house or even making outdoor plans.
- If you can’t avoid pollen, take medications before allergy season begins.
- To seal out pollen, shut the windows of your car, home, and office.
- Wear a mask and glasses when outside, and once you come back inside, take a quick shower, ensuring you wash your hair, then change out of those clothes.
- Have someone else mow your lawn if it triggers your allergy symptoms.
Final thoughts on at-home seasonal allergy testing
Suffering from seasonal allergies, or any form of allergies for that matter, can be stressful. It can even be worse when you don’t know what allergens affect your immune system. To get out of the dark, take an Allergy Test. It will help you come up with a diagnosis. Once you’ve nailed the culprit, you can find ways to protect yourself from allergy triggers. This can include taking medications and preventative measures. At-home seasonal allergy testing is simple and hassle-free, considering you don’t have to leave your house or bother making appointments.