SAN DIEGO — Tis’ the season to be sneezing for those with spring allergies in San Diego, but there are several ways to help ward off those seasonal aggravators.
The first step is knowing what kind of allergens are swirling their way into the air. There are a number of irritants that can affect people differently.
Here’s a breakdown of allergens in the San Diego area.
— Tree pollen
This powdery substance is the cause of most spring allergy symptoms, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). It’s produced by trees and can sometimes be seen as a yellow dust. Other times, it’s undetectable as its travels in the wind.
This allergy can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat and eyes as well as wheezing.
— Ragweed pollen
This weed can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains, according to AAFA, and has been traced in the air about 400 miles off the coast as well as two miles up into the atmosphere. The foundation says ragweed typically grows in rural areas.
This allergy can cause sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itches eyes, nose and throat, itchy or puffy eyes and mucus in the throat.
A not so fun fact: Those who have a ragweed allergy may also experience symptoms if they eat these food: banana, cantaloupe, cucumber, honeydew, watermelon, white potato, zucchini or sunflower seeds, said AAFA.
— Grass pollen
This may come as no surprise — this allergy stems from grass itself. Grass pollen is one of the most common causes of allergy symptoms, according to AAFA, and affects 10% to 30% of children and adults in the U.S.
This allergy can cause runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, red and watery eyes, irritability, itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth, disturbed sleep and swelling around the eyes.
These allergies are triggered by spores from molds or other fungi that float through the air, according to AAFA, and they are also considered to be a common cause of allergy symptoms. Mold can grow indoors and outdoors, usually thriving in damp environments.
This allergy can cause itching in the nose, eyes and throat, sneezing, runny nose, cough, mucus in the throat, coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath or chest tightness.
Tips for managing seasonal allergies
Though there is no complete cure for allergies, there are several ways to help alleviate symptoms and ward off allergy attacks. Here’s some helpful tips to do just that.
— Track the pollen count in your area: When pollen is especially high, you may want to consider sticking to indoor activities for the day and keeping windows closed. Local pollen counts can be tracked here.
— Prevent pollen from entering your home: To reduce the amount of pollen tracked indoors, AAFA suggests taking off your shoes outside, change your “outside clothes” when you come indoors, cover your hair when outside and showering after being outdoors for a long period of time.
— Prevent mold and mildew buildup inside your home: AAFA suggests paying close attention to bathrooms, basements and laundry areas. Lowering indoor humidity by using dehumidifier can also help.
— Take allergy medicine: Starting treatment early can help to reduced the affect of seasonal allergies, said AAFA. The foundation suggests talking with allergist about immunotherapy options and allergy actions plans.
Be kind to your ears, eyes, nose and throat this spring season — consider these tips to keep those allergies at bay.