As summer ends, leaves begin to change and the air becomes crisp. You may also notice the irritating symptoms of itchy, watery eyes and a runny, itchy nose while you try to enjoy the changing seasons. Or you may recall how miserable you were in August!
Unfortunately, you might be experiencing hay fever (Allergic Rhinitis). This uncomfortable allergic reaction causes inflammation of the nose along with those annoying symptoms listed above. Hay fever is caused by an influx of pollen which triggers your immune system to kick it into high-gear.
Source: Jake Givens
What Causes Hay Fever?
Hay fever is not caused by hay. It’s actually your body’s overreaction to pollen grains that are floating in the air. Also, there is no fever involved. Your body “fights” these pollens by causing a flood of histamines and leukotrienes giving you the symptoms of sneezing and irritated eyes.
Why Is My Hay Fever or Ragweed Allergy Worse During August and September?
Some allergy sufferers are affected by nasal symptoms all year round. However, there are hay fever sufferers who notice worse symptoms during August and September. This is caused by all those weeds pollinating during the early fall months. Ragweed is the major culprit and is often reported in pollen counts on the news.
Can I Prevent Hay Fever or Ragweed Allergy?
Hay fever has no cure, but there are a few preventative things you can do to help deal with the symptoms.
- Keep your house clean and free of dust and pollens
- Avoid triggers
- Create an allergy journal
It may sound silly, but make an allergy journal with your symptoms and what you were doing when you experienced the worst of the symptoms. Once you’re able to see what your triggers are then you can try to avoid them.
Treatment Options for Hay Fever/Ragweed Allergy
Sadly, there’s really no home remedy that will cure hay fever. The best course of action is to visit your allergy doctor and get tested.
The test is a quick and painless. The doctor will drop a hay fever allergen on your skin and see if there is a reaction. If you do have hay fever, your doctor can prescribe an antihistamine and nasal spray to help with the runny nose. Sometimes the allergy to ragweed is so severe that a person may require allergy shots for long lasting relief without medications.
If it’s not hay fever, then you and your doctor can discuss different tests and treatments for you.
Please contact us if you’d like more information about hay fever