Nasal allergies are caused by pollen, dust and dander in the air that people breathe. These allergens present problems in the form of coughing, sneezing watery eyes and runny nose and in most cases causes those affected to feel miserable. The symptoms are much like a common cold and are hard to distinguish between the two.
The body responds to these allergens through the immune system. The immune system produces antibodies to fight off the allergy, but for a person who is allergic to the allergens, the effect is more severe. Those who are not allergic, can tolerate the allergens. Many times older people will develop allergies due to their weakened immune system.
Certain seasons of the year present allergy symptoms, such as February through July, when tree pollen is high; April through July, grass pollens are high; August through October, ragweed and other weed pollens are high. Thus, spring through fall is the time allergy sufferers are bothered by the different pollens in the air.
All this depends on what region of the country you live in, as plants pollinate differently, according to their geographic locations. Also, allergies could be worse some seasons of the year than others, which means you are allergic to certain pollutants and not all of them. Your physician will test you to find out what you are allergic to and by knowing this, you will be able to avoid the pollutants that bother you.
Ragweed pollen is one of the worst, as it is so easily spread through the air by the wind carrying it for many, many miles. So even though you try to protect yourself by not having plants too close around you, the ragweed pollen can be transmitted to you through the wind.
Mold is another irritant for allergy sufferers. There are thousands of types of mold and yeast and they can be found indoors or outdoors. Outdoors molds grow in compost piles, rotting logs and fallen leaves. Thus, in the fall when you are raking leaves, your exposure to mold is high. Indoor mold grows in damp basements, refrigerators, houseplants, mattresses and furniture. Mold spores are found everywhere, so allergies to mold sometimes outnumber pollen allergies.
Allergies to pet dander are also a common problem. Being around dogs and cats can cause individuals to sneeze and cough for hours.
If you have nasal allergies during the winter, it could be that you are allergic to dust mites, as they live in carpets and upholstered furniture. They are microscopic organisms, not seen by the human eye, but they can survive all winter inside a house, so anyone who is allergic to dust mites would have allergy problems during the winter time.
It is important to have your doctor advise you on what things you should avoid to try and prevent an allergy attack and, also, prescribe the best treatment in the form of relieving symptoms of nasal allergies.
There are many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, to relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies. The past few years, saline solution nasal washes have been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of allergies. It is a gentle nasal wash that brings fast acting relief for coughing, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. It is drug-free and can be purchased over-the-counter at drug stores.