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Spring allergy: causes, symptoms and treatment

Federico de la Roca Pinzón
Allergology consultations. Study of respiratory allergy, food, medication...
22 Mar 2023
2 Min
Health tips

Spring is here and with it the annoying allergy symptoms. Watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing… Dr. Federico de la Roca, CreuBlanca allergist, reveals how to identify them, why they appear and what are the keys to proper treatment.

What is spring allergy?

Spring allergy, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, is our immune system’s response to the identification of a foreign agent, in this case pollen. With the arrival of good weather, plants release tiny grains of pollen into the air that come into contact with the respiratory tract and eyes. In people allergic to pollen, contact with pollen grains stimulates the immune system, causing the release of various chemicals, including histamine. The latter is one of the main substances that cause common allergy symptoms.

What are the causes of spring allergies?

Grasses and plantain, among the pollens that cause more allergic reactions. In Barcelona, grasses and banana trees are the main pollens responsible for the appearance of respiratory allergy symptoms (rhinitis and asthma) in spring. Olive and cypress pollen are not so frequent in this area, but are becoming more relevant every day due to their use as ornamental trees in parks, gardens and hedges.

Spring Allergy Symptoms

Similar to a cold, allergic rhinitis is a disorder that affects the nasal mucosa and manifests as nasal congestion, itchy nose, throat and ears, and runny nose. These symptoms can also be accompanied by repeated sneezing, general malaise, as well as tearing and redness of the eyes.

Unlike a common cold, which causes thick, yellowish or greenish mucus, allergic rhinitis is characterized by whitish, clear, liquid discharge. In addition, an episode of allergic rhinitis can last a couple of hours and go away, while a cold usually persists throughout the day and even for several days.

How do I know if I have a spring allergy?

The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis is made by a skin test or prick test. It consists of applying a series of drops containing a small amount of the suspected allergen to the skin of the forearm. In this way, the area is studied for about 15-20 minutes to detect the appearance of hives or redness.

The objective of this technique is to identify those allergens with which the patient has been in contact and if these are responsible for the symptoms experienced.

How is spring allergy treated?

If the discomfort is persistent, bothersome or affects the person’s quality of life, it is advisable to go to the allergist, who will carry out an initial assessment and analyze the immunological and environmental factors involved in the development of the allergic pathology. If necessary, he will prescribe oral antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids to relieve symptoms.

At the CreuBlanca Allergology Unit we address all types of allergies from a comprehensive point of view, analyzing the immunological and environmental factors involved in their development. A multidisciplinary team of specialists made up of internists, allergists, dermatologists and nutritionists work together to offer you an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan, focused on relieving your symptoms and improving the prognosis of your allergy.