Summer is a great season. You have days you can spend lounging by a pool, eating ice cream and forgetting about all troubles. You also don’t have to worry about your toes freezing off if you’re outside for too long. It’s a beautiful season for many, but others dread the coming of summer. About one in five Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies.
What are Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies are just what they sound like. They’re allergies that only come up during certain times of the year. They can also be referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Unfortunately, seasonal allergies are triggered by common things we see outside every day. The most common triggers are trees, grass and ragweed. Typically, tree allergies come up around the start of April. That’s followed by grass allergies, which come up mid-summer. Lastly, ragweed season is from the end of summer to around October.
It is very typical that a person can be allergic to all three, making the agony drag on. What these three triggers have in common is that the allergic trigger is pollen. A plant containing pollen will release it into the air from its spores. When someone who is allergic to pollen comes into contact with it, their immune system treats it as an invader. The body then proceeds to release a chemical called histamine. Histamine is one of the substances responsible for the symptoms on inflammation. It’s a major reason for running of the nose, sneezing, and itching when experiencing an allergic reaction.
Seasonal Allergies Symptoms
The symptoms of seasonal allergies are manageable, but not very pleasant to deal with. Imagine having the symptoms of a cold all summer only for stepping outside. As previously mentioned, the chemical histamine is responsible for the symptoms experienced with allergies. Histamine boosts the blood flow to the area affected by the allergy, going into attack mode. It can cause inflammation and it lets other chemicals step in to do some repair work.
For example, if the allergy affected your nose, histamine will prompt it to create more mucus. You’ll have a runny nose and be continuously sneezing in order to get rid of the allergen. Histamine is prone to overreact because it thinks your body needs to be defended. This is a good thing, but it can also lead to more serious symptoms. An overreaction of histamine can cause headaches and breathing issues if it gets out of hand.
For pollen allergies, the most common symptoms are sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion and watery eyes. Imagine trying to go outside for a walk and having to face the fact you probably won’t be able to stay out for long. All because of allergies. Luckily, there are some treatments that can make life a little easier.
Treatment and Help in Allergies
One treatment option are antihistamines. They work by blocking the site where histamine binds to in order to cause the allergic reaction. Reactine is a perfect example that provides quick relief. Another common treatment used are intro-nasal steroids. They block the inflammatory signals your body releases to cause symptoms. Additionally, they also signal to the body to provide anti-inflammatory proteins that help reduce swelling. A drawback this has however is that intranasal steroids sometimes may not provide relief instantaneously. In order to get maximum relief, it’s recommended the product is continuously used for 1 to 2 weeks.
If your body doesn’t severely react to the allergy in question, immunotherapy could also be something to consider. The way immunotherapy works is that a series of injections is given by healthcare professional. These injections have a concentration of the trigger allergy. The goal is to increase tolerance of the allergens over time as well as reducing the reaction to the allergy. In some cases, the allergy symptoms stop completely. Lastly, an impactful treatment that can be considered is salt therapy.
How Salt Therapy helps in Allergies?
Salt therapy is the process of breathing in microscopic salt particles. What a lot of people don’t know about salt is that it’s an anti-inflammatory and mucolytic element. When these particles travel throughout the respiratory system, they liquefy the secretions and reduce the inflammation you may have. Salt is also an antibacterial. Bacteria can trigger an infection and complicate an allergy. Since salt absorbs bacteria, it also reduces its growth and multiplication. This can make the symptoms less severe when an allergic reaction does happen. Salt is also known to desensitize the respiratory mucosa to allergens, with long term exposure. Lastly, the best perk of salt therapy is that it is completely non-invasive. No pills, sprays or injections. All you need to do is be in the same room as your salt machine.
You should never let anything get in the way of living your best possible life. Not even an allergy. Salt therapy can provide you with all the relief you need. It can even be used in conjunction with other treatments with no consequences at all. See for yourself and let salt therapy take care of those pesky allergies for you.