You might thing you are out of the woods when nature goes to sleep and there is no pollen trying to find its way into your nose, but don't be mistaken - autumn is a heaven for allergies too.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis appears as an allergic reaction of nose mucosa against allergenic substances found in nature. Allergic rhinitis can show indications through the year as perennial and it can reveal itself in certain months. These types of allergies, which are thought to appear in spring, can often be seen in the autumn months. Speaking to Daily Sabah, associate professor Dr. Ediz Yorgancılar from Memorial Dicle Hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Department gave information about seasonal allergic rhinitis, emerging in the fall and ways to protect yourself against it.
Attention if you sneeze in springtime
Allergic rhinitis shows itself with complaints like a frequent sneeze, a runny nose, itching or nasal obstruction. These appear as attacks but there can be some other nose diseases that imitate the symptoms in question. Therefore, it is important to consult an ENT specialist in order to prevent wrong diagnosis and treatment.
In the diagnosis of the disease, the case history of the patient and examination hold great importance. The continuous complaints and findings that support allergic rhinitis strengthen the diagnosis. Along with this, some laboratory analyses can be practiced. Allergy tests are the leading ones among these. These analyses can be done with blood or it can be performed on the skin. The tests are carried out to determine the allergens causing the discomfort.
Therefore, tests with negative results do not prove that there is no allergy. However, what type the allergic substance is should be diagnosed immediately. Tomographic examinations also can be performed in necessary situations in order to show the presence of sinusitis that can accompany it.
Symptoms similar with cold and influenza
In the autumn months, clouds of dust, plant pollen, dry herbs and leaves coming from the south to especially the southeast Anatolia region, increase because of the changes in the air stream. In addition, moisture and mold also grow with rain. New environments occurring because of starting school and moving to another city can trigger allergies. Allergic rhinitis, which has similar symptoms to cold and influenza and is commonly seen in school children, can often be ignored.
Allergic rhinitis can trigger asthma
When pollen enters the body through the respiratory tract, it can cause an allergic cold or rhinitis with the effect of histamine secreted in the body. It can start with a runny nose and itching, and then continue with sneeze attacks, nasal obstruction and postnasal drip. Moreover, allergic asthma attacks which show themselves with coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing can appear when the bronchia are affected. Watery eyes, swelling and itching can be accompanied by redness and itching on the skin. General tiredness, weakness, irritability and loss of concentration can be seen, as well.
First step of treatment is to remove allergens
The determination of the substances to which the patient shows an allergic reaction to helps in detection of the precautions that need to be taken and the treatment that will be administered. In order to wipe out allergen house dust, including house mites, cotton and wool should be used less, clothes should be washed at above 60 degrees Celsius, stuffed toys, carpets and things providing a similar environment should be removed, wet cleaning should be done and vacuum cleaners with special filters should be preferred.
In addition to this, medicines that kill the mites can be used. In case of a pollen allergy diagnosis, precautions such as not going out in the morning in spring, not sleeping while the windows are open and decreasing humid environments for mold allergies should be taken. Allergy preventing medicines called antihistamines and cortisone nasal sprays can be applied as medical treatment.
Vaccination also effective for protectıon
Another type of protection is vaccination. With this method, the body becomes accustomed to the substance to which the person is allergic to. After the detection of the substance, it is given to the body at certain intervals to desensitize the person. The vaccine can be applied under the skin or through oral drops. If the number of allergens is low, the treatment is successful and continues for three or five more years. Alongside these treatments, phototherapy can be applied to the nose.
How to protect yourself from spring allergies
You should not go out in the morning hours when pollen is most intense. Don't open your windows in the morning as well.
In this period, you should not do sports outdoors.
As pollen can be carried inside through hair and clothes, you should change once you get home and wash your hair every night.
With air conditioners, be sure to use pollen filters.
When going outside during pollen season, hats and glasses are musts.
You should not stay in places that are not well-ventilated or where people smoke.