Itching and burning eyes, a persistent cold, constant sneezing and a stuffy nose, breathing complications, swelling and drowsiness … those represent the daily reality for patients suffering from pollen allergies. Some of the unpleasant symptoms can be improved by over-the-counter medication. However, if the complications persist, treatment by a specialist at an allergology practice should be a priority.
Accurate diagnosis always translates to more effective treatment. For example, untreated hay fever (allergic rhinitis) without any supervision from a specialist can translate to allergic bronchitis accompanied by a cough and significant fatigue. Significant respiratory allergies can even lead to asthma attacks which can be life-threatening.
The occurrence of allergies is always a reaction to an immune system disorder. Allergic symptoms can therefore surprise you unexpectedly at any point in your life when your organism is weakened. This is why allergology and immunology practices are often visited by patients in later adulthood despite the fact that they have never had any such problems before.
Pollen allergies belong to the most common allergy types and represent a nuisance to sufferers approximately from the beginning of March until September. Most patients experience hypersensitivity to more types of pollen (or a combination of pollen and food allergies) and therefore often suffer from difficulties for several weeks or months throughout the entire pollen season. Traditional allergens manifest themselves at the onset of spring by tree pollen (blooming alder, birches, linden trees and more). The second half of the spring is associated with grass and grain (rye) pollen. At the peak of the summer and the onset of fall, allergies are most commonly triggered by herb pollen (wormwood, chamomile or plantain).
I sneeze, you sneeze, they sneeze…
Pollen allergies are most commonly characterized by an abundantly runny nose, abrupt sneezing attacks accompanied by a persistently congested nose, which cannot be cleared. Initial symptoms are then accompanied by itching (in the ears, throat and the mouth), watery eyes, burning and red eyes or eczematous rashes on the skin. Further, living with allergies has other undesirable symptoms including sleeping problems and fatigue which can greatly reduce the quality of life.
The unpleasant symptoms explained earlier do not have to be all present at the same time. You should consider a visit to a specialist when you start experiencing at least two of them. Patients suffering from seasonal allergies experience a quick onset of acute symptoms. In the case of year-round allergies, the most apparent symptom patients experience is the obstruction of the nasal passages.
What treatment options are available?
It is important to first free-up the airways which is best accomplished by using nasal sprays which contain substances which soothe the mucosa and therefore improve breathing. Over -the-counter medication is readily available and usually helps in reducing the swelling within the nose. However, it does not deal with the allergic reaction itself. It is therefore best to use sprays which aim to directly suppress the allergic reaction itself. In its severe form, standard nasal sprays with saltwater are insufficient and require the application of anti-inflammatory topical nasal steroids.
The symptoms of hay fever can be mitigated or entirely suppressed with the correct medication, particularly local or systemic in nature. The market here offers antihistamines (medication that suppresses allergic reactions) which are freely available. It is recommended that antihistamines are administered from the onset of allergic symptoms. They can be taken intermittently based on the extent and frequency of complications.
The healing process should naturally include permanent avoidance of environments with increased pollen presence. At home, during the most critical season, you should keep your windows shut whenever you can (they can be equipped with pollen filters/guards). Further, you should also wash your hair as often as possible. When outside, you should keep your head protected by wearing a hat or similar.
A significant part of suppressing allergic symptoms is associated with the correct diet composition. Patients suffering from allergies should focus on strengthening the immunity. Each day, it is essential to include foods rich in minerals, antioxidants and trace elements which strengthen the body’s defenses. Increased consumption of vegetables and fruits (citrus fruits, spring onions or similar) will most certainly benefit your body.
Do not underestimate the spring sun
The summer is not the only season known to cause troubles – the spring sun rays can also be tricky. The sun in spring can be strong enough to cause a rash on more sensitive skin on the face or the chest. It is not rare to come across sunburns if you do not protect your skin sufficiently.
These unpleasant skin reaction problems can be prevented by taking similar precautions like we do in the summer, i.e. by wearing sunglasses, using UV-protective sunscreen as well as covering your head. If the rays cause your skin trouble, you can soothe your skin with products that contain panthenol and have a moisturizing effect.
Do you suffer from pollen allergies and want to speak to a specialist? To book your visit, please call our call center on +420 235 360 133 or use our online booking form.