It is called allergic if it occurs in the eyes its call conjunctivitis, if it occurs in the upper respiratory tract its call allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma if it occurs in the lungs, urticaria, eczema or contact dermatitis if it occurs on the skin.
What causes spring allergies?
Allergy is a very common disease. Genetic predisposition and environmental factors play an important role in its emergence. The immune system normally protects our body against microbes and harmful substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, if the immune system begins to give exaggerated responses to substances, it is called allergy. The immune systems of allergic patients are extremely sensitive to some substances. When faced with these substances, the immune system gets out of control and allergic complaints such as itching, redness, swelling, spasm, tearing, and runny nose occur. The substance that initiates the allergy is called the allergen. Pollen, mold, pet dander, house dust, drugs and foods are the most common allergens. The picture that occurs especially in the spring season and progresses with the symptoms of runny nose, nasal congestion, tearing and sneezing in the eyes is called spring allergy or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Spring allergies are caused by pollen emitted from trees and grass. Pollen accumulates in the air by sticking to our nose, eyes and throat. Later, an allergic reaction and related symptoms occur.
What are spring allergy symptoms?
Among the symptoms of spring allergy;
• Nasal congestion,
• sneezing attacks,
• Watery runny nose,
• Itchy nose and eyes (also conjunctivitis),
• Pressure in the sinuses and facial pain,
• Swelling of the under-eyes and taking on a bluish color,
• Decreased sense of smell and taste,
• Frequent rubbing and scratching of hands to nose in pediatric patients,
• Difficulty in perception,
•Sleeping disorder ,
• palate itchy
• Cough and headache may occur.
The presence of allergic rhinitis symptoms lasting less than 4 days a week or less than 4 weeks is defined as intermittent allergic rhinitis, and the presence of allergic rhinitis symptoms lasting more than 4 days a week or for more than 4 weeks is defined as persistent allergic rhinitis.
Although allergic rhinitis can be seen at any age, the most common age of onset is seen as the years from childhood to adulthood. Patients with allergic rhinitis have a positive family history of approximately 50%. 68% of children with allergic rhinitis in both parents presented their first signs of allergy before the age of 10, and 85% before the age of 20. The probability of disappearance of allergy symptoms is around 10%, and it is seen only in mild forms of the disease.
What are the risk factors for allergic rhinitis (spring allergy)?
Factors that increase the occurrence of allergic rhinitis can be listed as follows;
• Having a family history of allergy or atopy,
• Having a high socioeconomic level,
• Black race,
• Air pollution,
• Being the first child of the family,
• Animal feeding in the house,
• Smoking at home,
• Feeding the baby with artificial foods before the age of one.
How is spring allergy diagnosed?
Detailed history taking is the main element of the diagnosis in the patient who comes with the complaints of runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing. It is learned how many days a week the symptoms occur and how long they have been going on. In allergic rhinitis, symptoms appear in some environments and disappear in others. In the common cold, the symptoms do not change with the environment. When the physician examines the patient's nose, edema is observed in the nose. The nasal mucosa is pale. Allergic patients have blue purple circles under the eyes. In young children, raising the nose constantly causes wrinkling on the back of the nose, this is called "allergic salutation". Other diseases that can often accompany allergic rhinitis are fluid accumulation in the middle ear, sinusitis and sleep disorders. For this reason, it is important to carry out a detailed ear, nose and throat examination in the patient who comes with allergic rhinitis and to investigate these diseases when necessary.
Allergic rhinitis can usually be diagnosed with physical examination findings and a detailed history. However, some laboratory tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis of rhinitis or to make a differential diagnosis.
• Skin tests: Allergen is dripped by scratching or puncturing the patient's forearm. It is considered positive if urticaria occurs.
• Serum IGE level
• Specific immunoglobulins
• Taking a swab from the nose
• It can be listed as blood eosinophil level.
How is spring allergy treated?
Allergic rhinitis (spring allergy) is a treatment that requires a long-term patient-physician relationship and patience. In the treatment, nasal cortisone sprays and antiallergic drugs are used as well as protection from allergens. In order to strengthen the immune system, one should eat a balanced diet, rest and drink plenty of water. Foods containing vitamins A, B, C and E should be consumed. Avoid allergens and be absolutely protected. You should live away from stress, alcohol and cigarettes should not be consumed. In some patients, immunotherapy, that is, vaccination, is applied. Patients to be selected for immunotherapy are usually those whose allergies cannot be controlled with drugs or who are bothered by drug side effects. If the patient has signs of allergy for at least two seasons or 6 months, vaccination can be considered.
Does spring allergy cause serious problems if left untreated?
In spring allergies, pollen enters the nose and sticks to the eyes. Symptoms such as watering of the eyes, redness, itching, itching in the nose, runny nose, nasal congestion, burning in the throat, sneezing occur. Nighttime sleep patterns are disturbed, daytime lack of concentration and headache may occur. The disease is not a simple disease consisting of eye itching and sneezing. It will recur if not treated and if precautions are not taken. It can cause sinusitis, otitis and asthma.
What are the ways to avoid spring allergies?
In order to be protected from spring allergies, it is necessary to know which pollen causes allergies. For this, allergy testing is required. Pollen varies according to geographical regions. From morning to noon, pollen is at its highest. Pollen density decreases after rain and in the evening hours. Because :
• Do not go out if it is not necessary in the morning when pollen is high, in dry and windy weather.
• Prefer indoor areas for sports during the pollen season.
• Use a brim hat.
• Sunglasses may be helpful if you have conjunctivitis.
• Change your clothes when you get home
• Wear long sleeved dresses and trousers.
• Take a shower when you come home and wash your face with plenty of water.
• If you have very severe symptoms, use a pollen filter in your home and vehicle.
• Take care to dry your laundry at home during the pollen season.
• Do not open doors or windows during peak pollen hours.
• Use your medications prescribed by your doctor regularly.
• Do not neglect regular doctor check-ups.
• Try not to be outside in windy weather.
• Do not stand in front of open doors and windows in public transportation vehicles.
• Avoid environments where grass is mowed.
• You can use a suitable mask during high pollen seasons.
• Smoking increases the complaints a lot. Do not smoke yourself and stay away from smoking environments
• Do not lie on the ground in grassy flowery environments.