Seasonal Allergies That Won’t Go Away

One out of every four Americans suffers from allergies and asthma caused by indoor and outdoor triggers, according to the Annual U.S. Prevalence Statistics for Chronic Diseases, and while the causes may be different, the symptoms often look and feel the same, making it had to differentiate between the two conditions.

What’s In a Name?

True seasonal allergies are those allergies that are caused by specific outdoor factors, such as grass, pollen, trees and outdoor mold spores. As the name implies, these allergies occur during certain seasons, typically in the spring and summer when the trees and plants are in full bloom. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, they likely get much worse during the times your triggers are in the air, and they will get better when the season wanes.

With year-round (also called perennial) allergies on the other hand, they seem to remain all year unchanged. This is because they are caused by indoor triggers, such as animal dander, dust mites, mold spores and certain insects. Regardless of the weather outdoors, these factors usually remain unchanged. Therefore, your symptoms likely won’t go away with weather changes. (It is worth noting, however, that during the colder months when you spend more time indoors with the windows shut, you may notice that year-round allergies do get worse.)

Treatment Strategies

While the triggers that spur seasonal and year-round allergies are very different, the way you feel from both allergies can be very much the same. That being said, though there are a few main differences worth noting, according to some physicians. First, eye symptoms seem to be associated more often with outdoor/seasonal triggers than with indoor dust and mold spores. Second, people with perennial allergies often have related asthma symptoms. But these factors can differ from person to person.

The treatment strategies for both types of allergies can also be very similar. Many allergists suggest a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • Avoiding the allergens.
  • Treating the symptoms with allergy medications.
  • Building up an immunity to the triggers by receiving regular allergy shots if needed.

For indoor allergies, you can also take more steps to control your environment and minimize the existence of those things that trigger your reaction. For instance, you can use plastic covers for your mattress and pillows, keep pets out of your bedroom and vacuum regularly. These easy steps can help you feel much better.

Much Overlap Exists

While seasonal allergies and year-round ones have different causes, you may think you can only have one or the other. Actually, if you have allergies, you may be susceptible to many triggers that can cut across different categories. Therefore, it is very possible to have your allergies triggered by BOTH indoor and outdoor factors.