How to Cope with Allergies & Asthma in 2017

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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, you can several steps take to get your allergies under control in 2017.
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.
There is no single “allergy season.” People’s allergy symptoms may vary throughout the year, depending on where they live and the types of substances they’re allergic to. And some people may have symptoms year round.
Still, many people experience a worsening of their allergies around springtime, when more plants produce pollen. This includes people with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. Springtime allergies can start as early as February and last until summer, according to the ACAAI. And people who are allergic to ragweed often experience symptoms in the fall, as this plant blooms from August to November, the ACAAI said. People who are allergic to dust mites, pet hair or mold may have symptoms at any time of year. Here’s a look at how the seasons, and the weather, can affect your allergies.