The sneezing, running nose, and itchy eyes of seasonal allergies affect 8% of all children and adults. If you suffer from seasonal symptoms, relief is available from Richard Herrscher, MD and Maryam Saifi, MD, at AIR Care. Dr. Herrscher and Dr. Saifi specialize in helping patients identify their allergens, offering allergy testing and two types of immunotherapy, shots and sublingual, to provide long-term allergy relief. To get help with your seasonal allergies, call one of the offices in Dallas or Plano, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever, develop when your immune system overreacts and labels a harmless substance as a danger. When you come in contact with that substance, which is now an allergen, your immune system releases histamines and other chemicals that trigger symptoms.
When you have seasonal allergies, your symptoms are usually triggered by pollen that’s released at certain times of the year. Tree pollen causes allergies in spring, grass pollen becomes a problem in late spring and summer, then ragweed blooms and releases pollen in late summer and fall.
Another seasonal allergen, mold, releases more spores from mid-summer to early fall. However, in some climates, mold can cause year-round allergies.
Allergy seasons also vary depending on the weather. Mild winter temperatures lead to early pollination, and a rainy spring accelerates and lengthens mold season. You finally get a break from seasonal allergies at the first hard frost. On average, the first freeze in the Dallas area occurs in late November.
All the different seasonal allergies cause one or more of the following symptoms:
Seasonal allergies also cause excess mucus or postnasal drip and some patients develop dry, itchy skin.
The first line of treatment for seasonal allergies includes avoiding your allergens and using over-the-counter antihistamines. After reviewing your medical and allergy history, Dr. Herrscher can often narrow your allergies down to a specific season, identify probable allergens, and recommend lifestyle changes to reduce your exposure.
Patients with mild allergies may get all the relief they need by keeping windows closed, using air conditioning, and limiting their time outdoors when the pollen count is high. However, if your allergies are severe, they persist despite lifestyle changes, or you want to stop taking medications, you may be a good candidate for immunotherapy.
Allergy testing, often a skin-prick test, identifies your allergens, then immunotherapy targets those specific substances. Immunotherapy, whether in the form of shots or sublingual therapy, introduces small doses of allergen into your system.
Over time, repeated exposure to the allergen desensitizes your immune system so it stops triggering allergic reactions.
You don’t need to keep suffering from seasonal allergies. Call AIR Care or schedule an appointment online to get effective allergy relief.