Spring Allergies and Asthma

With spring in the air, many are excited for warm, sunny weather and blossoming flowers. For some the thought of this is a nightmare as spring, beautiful and sunny as it may be, comes with dreaded springtime illnesses including pollen allergies and exacerbated asthma symptoms.

Pollen Allergies

Many people suffer from numerous pollen allergies during springtime when there is obviously more pollen from plants coming into bloom as well as airborne mould spores. Dry and windy weather conditions increase pollen count whereas wet conditions lessen them, which is also, why these allergies seem to play up more in the former conditions.

Histamines: Why Pollen causes so many respiratory problems:

Pollen itself is relatively harmless, but not to the body’s immune system. The immune system sometimes mistakes pollen as a harmful substance and so it responds by releasing histamines to attack it. Histamines are what cause the symptoms of an allergy such as runny nose, irritated eyes, sneezing.

Typical Symptoms of a pollen allergy include:

  • Coughing
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Runny nose
  • Hay Fever

One of the most common pollen allergies is the infamous Hay fever, also known as Allergic Rhinitis. An estimated 10-30% of people in the world suffer from Hay fever. Hay fever can be perennial or seasonal. People who suffer from perennial hay fever will experience the above-mentioned allergy symptoms all-year round, triggered not only by pollen, but by an array of nasal irritants such as dust, pet hair, mould etc.  Seasonal hay fever usually occurs from spring to early autumn and allergy symptoms are triggered predominantly by pollen.

Asthma and Pollen Allergies

Roughly, half of people suffering from asthma also have pollen allergies. This combination can be more than a mile irritation as pollen allergies worsen the symptoms of asthma. The allergic reaction of an airway inflammation can worsen the effects of pre-existing asthma.

The combination of seasonal allergies and severe asthma has even led to hospital emergency room visits due to difficulties in breathing and other complications.

For this reason, those with asthma and pollen allergies should take extra pre-cautions to prevent and manage allergy symptoms, especially during the springtime.


Allergies are diagnosed with either a blood test or skin test, which involves having small amounts of an allergen (such as pollen) injected into the skin and waiting for mild symptoms to be observed on the skin.

Treating Allergies

There is no known cure for Pollen Allergies but many over-the-counter and prescription medications as well as several lifestyle changes can manage the symptoms,

The common types of medication for treating allergies include:

  • Decongestants relieve congestion by working to shrink the blood vessels in the respiratory passageways
  • Antihistamines reduce the amount of histamines in the body, thereby reducing symptoms such as sneezing, sniffing and coughing.
  • Nasal sprays and steroid nasal sprays
  • Eye drops

Some people benefit form immunotherapy in which the body is conditioned to handle allergens better by being exposed to gradually increasing doses of them.

If one suspects that they have a seasonal allergy, it is important to get an official diagnosis before taking any medications and to ensure to rule out other possible illnesses as many other conditions can mimic the symptoms of a pollen allergy.

Doctors-on-Call , your house-call doctor service, are able to diagnose and treat seasonal allergies from the comfort of one’s own home. It is a good idea to have a ‘house call doctor’ like  Doctor-on-Call number at hand, especially if you are suffering from a combination of seasonal allergies and other respiratory complication, such as asthma. Timeous and effective diagnoses and treatment of allergies can prevent them from getting out of hand  ruining the springtime for you.