Daily Effects of Seasonal Allergies
The immune system of those that have allergies reacts to substances in the environment that are typically harmless. You can't tell that to the millions of people, adults and children alike, that suffer from the symptoms. They know without a doubt that they are harmful and can make their lives miserable.
Seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever) are those that are limited to certain times of the year, which may differ depending on where you are living. The body reacts to pollen and mold particles that are in the air. This kind of allergy is evident during certain times of the year, thus the title "seasonal."
Most allergies come from trees, grasses and weeds. In the spring they are usually caused by trees such as oak, elm, and birch. Some grasses that cause problems are timothy, Bermuda, and orchard. In the late summer and fall the problem seems to be weeds such as ragweed, sagebrush, and Russian thistle. Not everyone gets allergies, but it seems that, often times, they're developed in childhood. No one is sure why some people get allergies and others don't, although it appears that people that have hay fever have a hyper-alert immune system.
The Immune System and Seasonal Allergies
With season allergies, the immune system is constantly on the lookout for foreign substances that may invade their bodies. Pollen and mold aren't harmful until either a child or an adult breath them in. Their bodies then consider the pollen or mold to be a foreign substance; histamine is released along with other chemicals in order to fight the foreign particles off. Histamine irritates the nose and airways and chemicals cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies; runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing. These things happen in order for the body to flush the allergen from the body.
Types of Allergens
Because pollen is small, light, and dry, it can stay in the air when there is just a slight breeze. If the pollen is too heavy to stay in the air, it doesn't seem to cause any allergy symptoms.
Molds grow on grass, soil, leaves, and old rotting logs. You can find mold in damp areas where the air does not circulate. In colder climates, they lay dormant until spring and make their entrance into the air in the summer and late fall. They are tiny fungi related to mushrooms. Actually there are more mold spores than pollen, but not as many seem to cause allergies. It seems that the most allergic reactions take place between March and October.
In the most southern areas of the United States, the season could start as early as January. It doesn't mean that if you have allergies you will suffer during that entire period. The weather can affect the allergy season tremendously. For instance, if it's hot and dry and the wind picks up, it can increase allergy symptoms. If it's cloudy or rainy the pollen won't be able to move around in the air because the air is so heavy.
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