Uncommon Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies and the Risks They Bring
Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, which seem to be more severe every year. In fact, changes in the environment can significantly affect allergy seasons. According to experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the current tree pollen season is one of the worst seasons in history.
Typically, high tree pollen levels are associated with the spring months (March to May), when trees like birch, maple, oak, box elder, juniper, pine trees, and cedar normally pollinate. However, this year brought quite cold spring temperatures, which has lead to the extension of tree pollen season into the summer. As a result, we can observe a sudden burst of various types of pollen, caused by trees and flowers blooming at the same time.
Pollen allergies, as well as allergies to other triggers like food, dust, mold, or pets, can significantly affect a person’s life, if not treated properly, Besides, untreated allergies can sometimes lead to more serious health complications.
What Are the Uncommon Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?
The most typical symptoms of a seasonal allergy include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, itchy throat, etc. However, allergies can also trigger a number of symptoms that most people don’t even know about.
These symptoms may include: chronic fatigue, sleeping problems, lack of energy, bronchitis, asthma, upper respiratory infection, bronchitis, sinusitis (sinus infection). If you leave your allergy untreated, you may experience the overloading of mucus, which can lead to bacterial infection of the sinus.
These uncommon symptoms of allergy mentioned above are often difficult to recognize, even for healthcare specialists. However, it is important to make a proper diagnosis, otherwise, the treatment will be delayed, which may cause serious problems.
What Are the Risks Associated with Untreated Allergies?
When allergens get into your body, they affect your immune system which releases antibodies and chemicals causing allergy symptoms. If you keep exposing yourself to the allergen and don’t treat your symptoms, you are at risk for even more severe reactions in future. If you come to this point, your quality of life may suffer a lot. You may experience chronic sleep disorders, mood disorders, infection and inflammation, as well as decreased brain function.
Chronic sleep problems can result from chronic nasal congestion. A person may experience poor quality sleep and insomnia. In severe cases, there is even a possibility of chronic sleep apnea. In those with sleep apnea, oxygen levels may decrease during the sleep, which may lead to malfunctioning of the brain and heart because of the lack of air.
Annoying allergy symptoms together with sleeping issues may cause you to develop anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders. These complications may have a significant effect on your overall health, social life, relationships, etc.
In addition, allergies can affect your work or study performance. Untreated allergy symptoms often lead to chronic fatigue, concentration issues, and memory problems, which may decrease the brain function. This may be dangerous for people who are driving or working in hazardous situations.
It is especially important to treat allergies, because ongoing symptoms can weaken your immune system. This may cause the development of inflammatory diseases like sinusitis, asthma, ear infections, eczema, chronic migraines, and headaches.
How Can You Keep Your Seasonal Allergy under Control?
If you think that you may have a seasonal allergy, you should visit your doctor, whole make a diagnosis. The diagnosis is made based on your symptoms, medical history and your family history. Besides, you may also be offered to perform a skin prick test or blood test. In case your test results are positive, the doctor will recommend the best treatment for your allergy.
Usually, the best way to prevent the symptoms is to avoid exposure to allergenic irritants.
When it comes to pollen allergies, a few lifestyle modifications can help a lot in avoiding the allergens. Thus, you can start taking antihistamines and other meds prior to allergy seasons, replace the furnace filter in your house regularly, and wash your hair daily to get rid of pollen.
Experts also recommend that you avoid being outdoors early in the morning (between 5 and 10 a.m.), since pollen counts are the highest at this time. Make sure to always check the pollen counts before planning to spend the day outside.
The Bottom Line
People with seasonal allergies often can’t enjoy warm spring and summer days to the fullest because of the annoying symptoms. Therefore, it is important to visit an allergist and decide on a proper treatment in your case. The medications for allergy include: antihistamines, decongestants, steroid sprays, eye drops, etc. Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, is considered to be an effective long-term allergy treatment.