Now that spring is here, have you been sneezing while walking the dog or working in your yard? If so, you may have a pollen allergy. Trees and grasses release pollen into the air this time of year and can cause sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose and other allergy symptoms in people who are allergic. Find out what you can do to prevent such symptoms so you can enjoy the rest of spring.
The Connection Between Sneezing and Allergies
Sneezing is your immune system’s defense mechanism for pushing out harmful substances. When you breathe in any chemical pollutants or germs, your brain sends a message to release histamine which causes an inflammatory response, makes the nasal passages itch, creates more mucus and triggers a sneeze. If you have a pollen allergy, your immune system senses pollen as a germ. So when the tiny pollen particles currently blowing through the air get in your nose, your immune system attempts to push them out with a sneeze.
Sneezing Due to a Pollen Allergy Can Be More Than an Annoyance
Although your immune system’s protective reaction to pollen isn’t meant to be painful, constant sneezing can become quite uncomfortable. In some patients, excessive sneezing has led to sore stomach muscles, headaches, back spasms, inner ear problems, and even broken blood vessels in the eyes. This kind of discomfort can cause allergy sufferers to retreat indoors during spring.
It’s Not Always Possible to Avoid Pollen, But It’s Possible to Reduce Sneezing
There’s no way to keep trees and grasses from doing their job to make our city beautiful, but there are ways to make spring in St. Louis more comfortable for allergy sufferers. You can try taking oral antihistamines to prevent sneezing and other allergy symptoms, but if that doesn’t help, you may need allergy shots (or immunotherapy). By gradually introducing pollen into your body, your immune system will start to accept it rather than identifying it as an “intruder” and telling your brain to push it out with a sneeze.
Sound Health offers allergy treatments to help you enjoy spring again. If you’re ready to put a stop to sneezing and other allergy symptoms, call our office at (314) 332-1377 in MO or (618) 235-3687 in IL.