It is spring in Wuhan city of China now. The temperature is very warm, coming with various flowers in blossom. But there are also some other problems afflicting many people, such as itchy eyes, a congested nose, sneezing, wheezing and hives, all of which may be symptoms of an allergic reaction to the environment caused when plants release pollen into the air, usually in the spring. And this is called seasonal allergies.
First of all, let us get some more information about what cause the seasonal allergies.
In many areas of Wuhan city in China, spring allergies begin in March and last until the early summer. That’s because mold, tree, grass and weed pollen are the most common triggers of seasonal allergies, and from March to early summer, it is the flourishing period of flowers and trees.
Next, let us get some information about how to avoid seasonal allergies effectively.
1. It will be better for us to monitor pollen and mold counts. As we known, the weather reports in newspapers and on radio and television often include this information during allergy seasons. The pollination of many plants occurs predominantly in the morning, so if we are planning an outdoor activity, then we could save it for the afternoon as well as wear a pollen face mask while gardening and using a filter to clean the air in our home can help too.
2. Keep windows and doors shut at home and in car during allergy season. We will fight seasonal allergies more effectively if we know what we are allergic to. A skin or blood test from an allergist will narrow down our particular allergens, so we can avoid them by, for example, staying indoors with the windows closed during our worst pollen days. Currently, there are various methods for in vitro allergy testing, and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is one of the commonly used method.
3. To avoid pollen, know which pollens you are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning.
4. Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you have been working or playing outdoors.
5. Wear an air filtration face mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
Besides the above treatments, the allergists may also recommend one or more medications to control symptoms. Some of the most widely recommended drugs are available without a prescription (over the counter); others, including some nose drops, require a prescription.
If you have a history of prior seasonal problems, allergists recommend starting medications to alleviate symptoms two weeks before they are expected to begin.
One of the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies linked to pollen is immunotherapy (allergy shots). These injections expose you over time to gradual increments of your allergen, so you learn to tolerate it rather than reacting with sneezing, a stuffy nose or itchy, watery eyes.
While the term “seasonal allergies” generally refers to grass, pollen and mold, there is a different group of triggers that are closely tied to particular seasons. They are smoke, insect bites and stings, chlorine in indoor and outdoor swimming pools, candy ingredients, pine trees and wreaths. Actually, a healthy life habit is very important for us to treat seasonal allergies. So we’d better have enough sleep, not smoke, do some exercises or trainee ourselves. Besides, we also should have a good eating habit, and we’d better eat some more healthy food to improve our immunity, then our body could be strong enough to resist the allergies.
Caroline Liu is a writer and working at Cusabio, a biotech company that offers enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. She loves writing and sharing articles about allergies and other common human illnesses and conditions.