A Pain in the Sinuses: Seasonal Allergies

A+Pain+in+the+Sinuses%3A+Seasonal+Allergies

By Madison Le and Safa Touri

June 8, 2021

“Achoo!”

The iconic case of the sniffles, the runny nose, and the watery eyes are all very common symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Springtime, notorious for it, can be a beautiful season, but when coupled with the pollen-monster apocalypse, it can be seen as a menace. While the allergies they bring vary from person to person, one thing remains the same: it can be difficult to fight them off completely. 

However, even though seasonal allergies can be a pain in the sinuses, there are multiple ways that you can still enjoy the lively season.  Something as simple as cranking up the AC, or wearing a pollen mask (similar to the ones you should be wearing right now, but with a designated filter) while outdoors can help to reduce the chances of pollen sneaking up behind you.  You can also go the extra mile by purchasing a dehumidifier or a HEPA filter to go into your vacuum cleaner!

Going back to the roots (literally) of where the apocalypse truly begins, Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, also known as the common pollen allergy, is caused by pollen that is released from plants.  Ragweed is one of the most common plants that people are allergic to, as up to 75% of people with pollen allergies are allergic to this weed’s pollen.  Sagebrush, on the other hand, is a plant that pollinates around late July to late September, and, like most plants, it relies on the wind to carry its pollen to plants of the same species.

After the plants release the pollen, it then travels to us, reviving those very much hated symptoms.  Sneezing occurs when pollen enters your body by inhaling, which your body recognizes as foreign germs, forcing it to sneeze in order to remove the pollen or other allergens.   Moving up towards the eyes, the reason they start swelling is due to your brain releasing a chemical called histamine, then causing your eyes to swell and itch.   Congestion usually occurs when allergens enter the nasal canal. The nasal tissues start to swell and produce mucus, leaving you with that stuffy feeling that makes you toss and turn throughout the night.  This mucus then occasionally drips down the throat, giving you the need to cough. On a more positive note, however, there are simple remedies that are efficient in preventing pollen allergies.  

We wish you the best of luck in fighting the pollen monster apocalypse!

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