Spring is prime time for Allergies

Allergies can flare up at any time. However, for tens of millions of people, springtime is the most severe time for allergies.

An allergy is a harmful, heightened susceptibility to a particular substance. When the person breathes, eats or touches the substance, his or her immune system may release chemicals that cause unpleasant symptoms, such as a runny nose, headaches, coughing, teary eyes or a rash. Some reactions can be extremely severe, especially for those allergic to penicillin, insect stings, shellfish or nuts.

Allergy myths:
There are many myths about allergies. One myth is that a person may be allergic to only certain breeds of dogs. This is not true. People are allergic to the protein found in a dog?s saliva, dander and urine. Since all dogs produce these substances, no breed is better than another.

Many also believe that a warm, dry climate can provide relief for allergies to weed, tree or grass pollen. This is also incorrect. Over time, the person can develop allergies to local plants in the new area. Unfortunately, you can?t move away from allergies.

Treatment can help:
The most effective way to prevent allergy symptoms is to stay away from substances that cause them. This may be a problem for those allergic to substances that are almost impossible to avoid entirely, such as pollen and dust.

Medications may provide relief by preventing or relieving symptoms. A wide variety of prescription and over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines are available.

Talk to your physician before using any allergy medications. Based on the nature of your allergies, your doctor may refer you to an allergy specialist or recommend allergy shots to ease symptoms.

Author: Dave Saldanha- USA