Allergies: year-round or seasonal?

Allergies: year-round or seasonal?

While many of us experience allergies, a lot of us aren’t aware of the differences between seasonal and year-round allergies, and their potential triggers.

Allergies can significantly affect quality of life, and according to the home doctor team at House Call Doctor, it’s better to be aware of potential causes so that you can effectively prevent a reaction.

What are allergies?

Allergic rhinitis is a type of reaction that occurs when your immune system abnormally reacts to something in the environment. It treats the environmental trigger, harmless or not, as a threat to the system – much like the way your body reacts to a virus.

Allergy symptoms are often mistaken for a common cold. Symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • General itchiness
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Headache
  • General fatigue
  • Runny nose.
  • There are two types of allergic rhinitis: seasonal and year-round.


Seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies, or ‘hay fever’, are different to perennial allergies and often flare up during specific times of year, typically during Spring due to excess pollination.  Another difference is that seasonal allergies are often caused by outdoor triggers, rather than indoor.

Causes

Some common causes include:

  • Trees, plants and grass
  • Pollen
  • Mould
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Chlorine in pools
  • Smoke (from indoor/outdoor fires).

Year-round allergies
Perennial allergies are year-round and are often caused by indoor, rather than outdoor triggers.

Causes

Common triggers include, but are not limited to:

  • Pet dander
  • Mould
  • Dust mites

Prevention

Adequate preparation for seasonal allergies is vital to minimise reactions and carry on with everyday life. Some measures include:

  • Determine what is specifically causing your allergies and avoid exposure to that trigger
  • Keep a clean house and car
  • Showering morning and night to remove any pollen off your skin and hair
  • Avoid having pets that that will trigger a reaction
  • Be prepared with nasal rinses and sprays, antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots for when you are exposed to a trigger
  • Wash your bedding more often than usual
  • Clean mouldy surfaces.

Consult with your local doctor about testing for allergies and for further information on the medication you can take to live allergy-free.

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