Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Overview
When the seasons change, seasonal allergy symptoms change with them. Adverse effects increase in those who are prone to allergy rhinitis, also known as hay fever. When allergens like pollen reach a person who has a sensitive immune system, they may cause adverse effects in the body. As a result, that person may suffer from hay fever or other reactions. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology states that almost 8% of Americans suffer from hay fever due to change of seasons.
Symptoms occur primarily because of pollens shed by plants during certain seasons. This can mean pollens from trees, weeds, grasses, and flowers, to name a few. One big reason pollens affect humans so much is because they can stay airborne for a longer time. Some heavier pollens can’t make it through the air on their own and are moved by bugs.
Spring, summer, and fall are major months for pollen. This is because these are the main seasons touched by plant blooms. In the winter, people stay mostly indoors. This causes allergic reactions to go down. Besides allergens like pollens, fur, dust, or cockroaches, the winter doesn’t have a lot of triggers.
Here is a review of the seasonal allergy symptoms and issues:
When allergens enter the body, they can cause the immune system to get in defense mode and irritate the eyes. This will cause one of the many symptoms linked to eye irritation:
- Burning eyes
- Watery eyes
- Red or pink eye
- Swelling around the eyes
- Scaling around the eyes
One or both eyes may be affected. Those who have allergies may show eye irritation paired with other effects when certain things come in contact with the body and the immune system sees as bad. It will then release histamines into the bloodstream that can cause eye irritation among others.
Eye irritation may show at any time of the year but mostly happens during the change in seasons. Spring, summer, and fall months are times when allergens flair up the most.
Seasonal allergies can also cause nasal irritation effects like:
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Stuffed nose
- Sinus problem
- Swollen nasal tissue
Nasal problems may be grouped with other seasonal allergy symptoms when the body makes histamines to protect itself. Nasal irritation can be followed by sneezing, itchy or sore throat, watery eyes, and sometimes cough. It can also cause headache, swelling pain, or pressure around the forehead, nose, and eyes. Allergy rhinitis causes the nasal tissues to swell and shrink air passages, causing trouble breathing in some cases.
An effect that begins in the nasal passage because of seasonal allergies. Respiratory irritation can cause signs like:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty talking
Other issues may include itchy throat, sore, or dry throat to name a few. Adding to that, people with hay fever may show respiratory problems and in more severe conditions, asthma. A big sign of this is the whistle sound that comes from the chest while breathing. Not all with seasonal respiratory issues will get asthma, however. But those who already have them may trigger an asthma attack.
There is more than one type of asthma. Bronchitis asthma is the most common one that affects the lungs. It’s vital to keep an eye on your symptoms if you also have seasonal asthma.
Some may show skin irritation and reactions when the seasons change. People who already have skin issues may notice that hay fever or pollen allergy triggers a skin rash. However, even people with no prior skin issues may show skin rash or irritation as a result of the higher pollen count in spring and summer. The types of rash that you may get in this season are:
- Atopic dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
Additionally, these skin problems may look like dryness, rashes, itching, inflammation, or cracked skin. Aside from pollen, change in season can boost the breeding of some insects and bugs.
Not only that, in the summer, people are more likely to spend time outdoors. This means they are more likely to come in contact with allergens, causing skin effects. Also, the temperature increase may cause skin issues like:
- Heat rash
- Insect sting
- Tick bites
A doctor will be able to tell if it’s a rash and know how best to treat it, however.
Sickness and Other Conditions
Besides the above effects, here are other (rare) seasonal allergy symptoms. These can be:
- Sleep disorders
Sickness and digestive issues are rare. Moreover, if you experience any of these effects, contact your doctor as soon as possible. They can give medicine to help you treat it.
These effects are mostly caused when histamines are let into the gastrointestinal tract, on an encounter with an outside allergen. Histamine itself in your body is normal and important to your health, but its overproduction is caused by your body trying to protect you. Histamine intolerance can be seen in patients who have other conditions and imbalances. These can be poor diet and vitamin deficiencies, among others.
Whether it looks like “natural” seasonal allergy symptoms (runny nose, sinus headaches, or congestion), or they impair your quality of life, you can take steps to reduce their effects. Besides using antihistamines to help, you can learn all your seasonal triggers. This will help you get more relief because you’ll know how best to avoid places that have them.
Lastly, if you notice any of these reactions in your body, you should take steps to make sure you get proper treatment. There are many over the counter medications for all types of allergies. You should clear any new meds with your doctor first.
Written by: Madiha Ather Hashmi (November 11, 2020)
- Mayo Clinic Staff (2020). “Hay Fever”. Mayo Clinic.
- Jacquelyn Cafasso (2018). “What are the Symptoms of Hay Fever?”. Healthline.
- Danielle Dresden (2020). “Can pollen cause a hay fever rash?”. Medical News Today.
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Last Updated on July 5, 2023