As the seasons change seasonal allergies awaken

By Danielle Nason


This time every year seems to bring about the start of allergies. You may find your nose constantly twitching and the sniffles leaving you sore from tissue overuse.

Do you or a loved one  suffers from seasonal allergies? Allergies can be frustrating during this time of year, but they are not uncommon.

It’s spring and we finally hear the bees buzzing and birds chirping as so many of us looked forward to and dreamed about just a few months ago. And then, there is the amazing awakening of plants and the germination of trees and flowers. It is a wonderful time when nature’s food is plentiful for wild animals and the environmental temperatures are suitable for rearing young. Animals are having their babies or getting ready to introduce them to the world when they arrive.

Yet with the wonderous beauty and rebirth that comes with spring, comes also the frustration of those who suffer from the allergies that ride in behind springtime. As the days get longer and the temperature gets higher, where do you find yourself wanting to be on those days with a shining sun? Outdoors would be the natural place to want to relax on a warm sunny day.

Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, occur when a person’s immune system reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless for most people (people without allergies). The substances most commonly known as allergens are found in house dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, molds, foods and some medicines, according to

May and June are key grass pollen months in many areas, and it’s likely that grass pollen will start to trigger your spring allergies by this time of year if it hasn’t already, according to EveryDayHealth.

If you are someone that has seasonal allergies or just allergies in general, you may wonder when you will get a break. Some people suffer from allergies for several months out of the year, while other can suffer from allergies every day. For those with allergies it can be a constant battle between yourself and the allergens in the air to determine whether a good day is on the horizon. If you suffer from spring allergies, you may have some good days and some bad days. Factors that can make a difference in those good or bad days include the outside temperature, the amount of rainfall, and even the time of day.

If you suffer from allergies, looking at the forecast may benefit you so that you can adjust accordingly for your day. The time of day can affect the grass pollen levels, as plants release pollen early in the morning, usually shortly after dawn. That means that if you are near the main source plants (those that have allergens in them), the highest count will be early in the morning.

The wind can be a large factor in pollen and how swiftly it travels. When it is a warm, dry or breezy day, pollen counts often peak around midday. What time of day the pollen count is highest in an area also depends on what time of the year it is and what plants are growing in that area. Temperature, wind, humidity and rain can also affect the pollen count, which in turn can affect allergies.

Some places offer allergen calendar predictors so that you can determine when you will be most likely to be susceptible to allergens that are in the air. You can find a daily pollen predictor that tracks the pollen levels in Libby and Lincoln County at several online sites including AccuWeather and If you are really concerned about the pollen levels, you can sign up for pollen alerts on most of the online sites as well.

Do you think that you might have allergies? It can be hard to tell the difference between a cold and an allergy. Symptoms of allergies may include red eyes, an itchy rash, sneezing, a runny nose, shortness of breath, or swelling. Common allergens include pollen and certain foods. Food intolerances and food poisoning are separate conditions from seasonal allergies.

Allergies if left untreated for an extended period of time can cause countless other mild and severe medical problems. This can open the door for other health problems such as severe asthma, severe sinus problems, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, sleep issues and breathing problems, according to WebMD.

While the most likely consequence of untreated allergies is that you will feel symptoms such as continual congestion and sinus drainage, allergies are not something that should be left untreated. If you think that you might have allergies, referring to your local physician for advice may be the best course of action.

“If allergies aren’t treated, it can affect your quality of life. People may avoid situations that trigger allergies, and a lot of times that’s a detriment to well-being. If somebody doesn’t want to go outside or participate in activities because they don’t want to be exposed to allergens, that can impact quality of life. Untreated allergies can also set you up for sinus and ear infections since mucus is a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria,” said Dr. Alan Young, MD, a Family Practitioner on behalf of Mercy Health.