Seasonal allergy, also called hay fever, pollen allergy and seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction appearing only during certain times of the year as a result of exposure to airborne substances such as pollen grains. Molds are also known to cause seasonal allergy in some people.
Sneezing with runny or clogged nose, coughing and postnasal drip are the most common symptoms of this type of allergy. Although, symptoms and their season of appearance can determine the diagnosis, the trigger causing the allergy can be identified only through skin tests.
It would be easier to follow the treatment process if we know how one gets the seasonal allergy in the first place.
Mechanism of Seasonal Allergy Manifestation:
► When pollen (allergen in this case) comes in contact with the person, it initially sensitizes the person and the body produces antibodies of immunoglobulin IgE type. These antibodies attach themselves to certain cells called mast cells.
► When the person is again exposed to the same allergen, the allergen attaches itself to the IgE. Following this, substances such as histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes are released from the mast cells. These substances cause the symptoms of allergy like the congestion in the nose, itching, increased secretion of mucus, and constriction in the bronchial tube.
You may experience all of the symptoms of seasonal allergy or it could be that just one symptom will predominate. So, you may not know whether you are suffering from seasonal allergy or you have the symptoms of the common cold.
It is advisable that you seek medical help for your condition. Although, seasonal allergy is not fatal, ignoring its treatment may lead to severe conditions such as asthma.
The treatment for seasonal allergies includes medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids and immunotherapy. They are used in the form of pills, nasal spray and intravenous administration. Relief from seasonal allergies can also be obtained with alternative therapies such as homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs, nasal irrigation and aromatherapy.