Soon, the days will be getting warmer, shoots of green grass will appear and trees will be bursting with colorful blossoms. But for some people, the arrival of spring also brings symptoms of seasonal allergies — sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes and a running nose — which can make this a miserable time of year. However, there are several steps you can take to get your allergies under control in 2017.
Here’s your guide to coping with with allergies and asthma this year.
Allergies: The basics
An allergy is a reaction of your immune system to what are usually harmless, run-of-the-mill substances, such as pollen, cat hair or peanuts. When you’re exposed to your allergy trigger (called an allergen), your immune system produces proteins called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These antibodies then put out signals that cause the release of other chemicals, such as histamine, which in turn cause your allergy symptoms.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), more than 50 million people in the U.S. experience allergies each year.
Allergies are also often tied to asthma, a condition in which people’s airways become inflamed and narrowed, which can lead to coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and difficulty breathing. In some people, the same substances that trigger allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Read up on some allergy basics below: