Fitness Facts: Allergies
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Do you sneeze and cough? Do your nose and eyes itch? Do you have watery eyes and a constant runny nose? You might have seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies, like other allergies, develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment.
Additional symptoms also can include: wheezing and shortness of breath, rashes, fatigue, headaches and fatigue.
Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they cost Americans more than $18 billion a year.
In many areas of the U.S., spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall.
In tropical climates, however, grass may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring also can promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:
“While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:
- Tree, grass and ragweed pollens thrive during cool nights and warm days.
- Molds grow quickly in heat and high humidity.
- Pollen levels tend to peak in the morning hours.
- Rain washes pollen away, but pollen counts can soar after rainfall.
- On a day with no wind, airborne allergens are grounded.
- When the day is windy and warm, pollen counts surge.
- Moving to another climate to avoid allergies is usually not successful — allergens are virtually everywhere.”
If you feel as if you are always getting sick with a cough or head congestion or you have a persistent cough that will not go away, it is time to see an allergist. Many people with allergies think they have a recurrent cold when it is really allergies.
Allergies are treated differently than a cold, so to understand the cause of your symptoms is essential to obtaining relief. An allergist can do specific testing to determine what type of substances you are allergic to and tailor your treatment toward the things triggering your symptoms.
If you think your symptoms are consistent with allergies and you do not know how to locate an allergist, here is a link to find one near you: