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​​Springtime Sniffles: Causes and Prevention Tips for Your Seasonal Allergies

March 30, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense
Brooke McKelvey

Spring is such a wonderful time of year, isn’t it? The weather begins to warm up, days grow longer, flowers start to bloom, and the air is full of... tree pollen? With all the pleasures spring brings, for many, it also brings sniffles, stuffy noses, sneezes, and other reactions typical of seasonal allergies.

Pollen allergies may be one of the primary causes of springtime allergies. Still, several other allergens are in the air during this time of year. And they can cause a range of symptoms like sneezing, congestion, itchy noses, and watery eyes.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, spring can be an absolute nightmare. But even though allergy sufferers can have a challenging time in spring, there are some things you can do to prevent allergies from ruining the season for you. Read on to find out more about seasonal allergies, what causes them in spring, and what, if anything, you can do about them.

What are Allergies?

a person holding a flower and sneezing

Seasonal allergies, sometimes also known as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are common problems. They’re typically caused by an immune system response to proteins in the air, most commonly grass, weed, or tree pollen.

People can be affected by various allergens, including different pollens, mold spores, and other airborne allergens, during spring, summer, autumn, or winter. So, they’re not limited to spring, but springtime often brings up more cases.

There are two broad categories of allergies: seasonal allergies and perennial allergies.

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies refer to any allergy caused by environmental factors that change with the seasons. They can be due to airborne allergens, most commonly pollen from trees, grass, and weeds. You may have seasonal allergies if you experience itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose, but you're not sure what's causing the issue. While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, there are treatments and allergy medications that can help minimize your symptoms. 

Perennial Allergies

You may have perennial allergies if you suffer from allergies that seem to flare up throughout the year. Perennial allergies are due to exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens like dander, dust mites, insects, and mold spores. Treatment usually involves avoiding triggers, dietary changes, air filtration, and managing symptoms with medication. Some perennial allergies can turn into chronic allergies.

What are Some Common Springtime Allergies

a plant with Pollen

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may notice that your symptoms flare up during certain seasons and usually coincide with changes in the weather. 

Although allergies are common throughout the year, when the trees begin to reproduce in the spring, they can cause more people to experience seasonal allergies. The causes of springtime allergies most often include things like pollen, grasses, and ragweed.

Some of the most common causes of seasonal allergies include:

What’s Making Your Allergies Worse in Spring

a person looking at a flowering tree and sneezing
  • Tree, grass, and ragweed pollen levels may rise during cool nights and warm days, so plan outdoor activities accordingly. 
  • After you mow your lawn, it might be good to stay inside for a while while the pollen from the grass settles down.
  • Windy days cause surges in pollen and carry it everywhere. You might notice pollen build-up on your car on windy days. 
  • Rainfall will wash most pollen away, but pollen counts rise again after the rain (or a storm) ends.
  • Molds that trigger allergies usually thrive in warm, damp environments. 
  • Some people are allergic to chlorine, which affects people wanting to go swimming in pools in the Spring and Summer months.
a list of spring allargy stats

Most Common Symptoms of Spring Allergies

a person sitting on a sofa and sneezing

If you suffer from allergies, spring can be a difficult time of year. It’s likely because pollen levels are high, and there are more allergens in the air than at any other time of year.

Knowing the most common symptoms of spring allergies can help you manage your condition better and get relief from your symptoms.

If you suffer from an increase in allergy symptoms during the springtime, contact your doctor or an allergist to find out how you can best manage your condition. Alleviating your symptoms will make enjoying the warmer weather much easier!

Here are the most common symptoms of spring allergies: 

Hay Fever: Hay fever is usually a catchall for seasonal allergies, but it’s also one of the symptoms of this allergy. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. 

Itchy Eyes: Itching eyes is one of the most common symptoms of allergic reactions to seasonal allergens.

Runny Nose: Nasal congestion and a runny nose are some of the most common symptoms of allergies.

Sneezing: Many people find themselves sneezing as a result of allergies.

Coughing: Allergies can irritate the lining of your nose, which may cause a post nasal drip that travels down your throat, then causing a tickle that makes you cough.

Hives: Hives are itchy, red welts that can appear on your skin. They’re usually the result of an allergic reaction. But they can also be due to stress or have other triggers like food allergies. Hives can be short-lived or long-lasting, and they can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters.

Headaches: Headaches are defined as pain or discomfort in the head and can be because of various things. Some common causes include stress, tension, allergies, and even changes in the weather. 

Fatigue: Fatigue is when you feel too exhausted to function normally and cannot do anything about it. It can be physical, mental, or both and can be a common side effect of allergies

Springtime Allergies and Blood Glucose

a person using finger prick method to test their glucose level

If you suffer from allergies, you may have wondered if they could be affecting your blood glucose levels. Recent studies suggest a link between the two and that allergies can impact how your body handles glucose.

If you have diabetes or any other health condition that affects your blood glucose trends, uncontrolled pollen exposure may lead to high blood sugar levels.

If you’re struggling to keep your blood sugar in check, it may be worth talking to your doctor about whether allergies are playing a role.

Knowing more about how allergies can affect diabetes management can help you take steps to keep yourself healthy and thriving this spring.

Allergy Treatments and Preventive Measures

pills of Allergy Treatments

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you think you may have seasonal allergies. While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, many treatments can help lessen their effects. 

There are several different allergy tests (like blood tests and antibodies tests) that can help determine what you're allergic to. There are also over-the-counter and prescription medications like antihistamines and decongestants that help relieve symptoms. In some cases, topical creams may help, and for severe cases, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots).

Springtime may be synonymous with allergies, but it doesn’t have to mean you spend the entire season coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. While allergy sufferers can't avoid allergens during this time of year, monitoring your habits and routines can make a big difference in how you feel. 

Some preventative measures to protect yourself from springtime allergens include:

  • Eat a diet rich in foods that have vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine properties. 
  • Check pollen counts before spending time outdoors, and limit your time outside when the count is high. 
  • Immediately take a shower after spending time outside in your yard, playing sports, or hiking. 
  • When pollen counts are high, keep your windows and doors closed in your house and car.
  • Buy good quality vents for your air conditioning system at home and in your vehicle.
  • Wear a mask while mowing the lawn or gardening during allergy season. 
  • Keep antihistamines like Banophen, Siladryl, Unisom, Benadryl, Robitussin, or Sudafed on hand if you react to allergens. Make sure you’re aware of any possible side effects. Some allergy medication can cause drowsiness and be dangerous to take if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • If you think you’re struggling with allergies and don’t know what is triggering them, speak with your doctor about taking an allergen test to determine the cause.
a list of key takeaways

Engage with Your Blood Glucose Levels with Nutrisense

Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. That’s why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.

With Nutrisense, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.

When you join the program, our team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists are available for additional support and guidance to help you reach your goals.

Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
Listen to the full podcast:
​​Springtime Sniffles: Causes and Prevention Tips for Your Seasonal Allergies
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The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar
The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.

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7
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The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
The Relationship Between Cholesterol and Blood Sugar

Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?

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8
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The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes
The Link Between Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

NutriSense dietitian Katrina Larsen, MS, RD,N, LD, CDCES discusses the risk factors for sleep apnea and how this disorder is linked to other health conditions.

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5
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The Paleo Diet and Blood Glucose Levels
The Paleo Diet and Blood Glucose Levels

The premise of the paleo diet is that the body can handle a mix of meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, and complex carbohydrates better than processed meats, refined fats, grains and simple carbohydrates because it evolved to eat the first category as hunter-gatherers.

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8
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The Health Benefits of Winter Squash
The Health Benefits of Winter Squash

A common ingredient in cozy winter recipes, winter squash is one of our favorite foods this time of year. Read on to learn more about how it can benefit your health.

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6
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The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers We Love
The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers We Love

Haven't finished your holiday shopping yet? Pick from this list of NutriSense-approved holiday gifts to find some great last-minute stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!

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8
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The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Health-Focused Gifts They’ll Love
The NutriSense Holiday Gift Guide: Health-Focused Gifts They’ll Love

Still haven't bought all your holiday gifts this year? Don't worry—there's still time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Read our guide for some great ideas!

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9
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The Link Between Inflammation and Blood Glucose
The Link Between Inflammation and Blood Glucose

Learn more about inflammation, how it affects blood glucose levels and what you can do to prevent and manage it.

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9
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The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet
The Health Benefits of Adding Fermented Foods to Your Diet

Fermented foods have a range of health benefits. Read on to learn more about what they are and why you should be adding them to your diet.

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9
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The Health Benefits of Potatoes, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes
The Health Benefits of Potatoes, Yams, and Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes are similar in usage, but pretty distinct in taste, texture, appearance, and even nutritional content! Read on to find out more about each one.

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8
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The Health Benefits of Living With Pets
The Health Benefits of Living With Pets

Did you know that living with a pet can do more than just put a smile on your face? Read on to learn all the ways living with pets improves your wellbeing.

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7
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The Health Benefits of Cooking With Herbs and Spices
The Health Benefits of Cooking With Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavor to dishes, and also have a range of health benefits. Learn more about a few of our favorites.

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12
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The Health Benefits of Beans
The Health Benefits of Beans

Learn about the health benefits of beans and how they can help you live a healthier, longer life.

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6
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The Guide to Metabolic Diets: What Are They, Do They Work, And Who Should Try Them?
The Guide to Metabolic Diets: What Are They, Do They Work, And Who Should Try Them?

Review our guide to metabolic diets to help get a better understanding of what they are and whether they might be right for you.

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The Foods and Traditions of Kwanzaa
The Foods and Traditions of Kwanzaa

Learn about the traditions and nutrient-dense food commonly enjoyed during Kwanzaa. 

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9
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The Blood Sugar and Joint Pain Connection
The Blood Sugar and Joint Pain Connection

Have you ever wondered how your glucose levels might be connected to joint pain? We'll take a deep dive into this connection and share tips for reducing pain.

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10
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The Best Diet for Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia
The Best Diet for Non-Diabetic Hypoglycemia

This article explores hypoglycemia in non-diabetics, how to manage symptoms through diet, and the advantages of glucose monitoring.

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6
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The Effect of Aging on Your Blood Glucose Levels
The Effect of Aging on Your Blood Glucose Levels

Take a look at how aging can affect your blood glucose levels.

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9
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The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
The Best Diet to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Read on to learn more about vitamin D-rich foods and what you should include in your diet to make the most of this vitamin’s health benefits.

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10
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The Best Diet for Menstruation
The Best Diet for Menstruation

When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.

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8
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The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices
The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system that dates back over 5,000 years. In the second installment of our series on the practice, review the benefits and risks associated with popular Ayurvedic herbs and spices.

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9
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The Beginner’s Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet
The Beginner’s Guide to the Low FODMAP Diet

In this article, we break down what a low FODMAP diet looks like for beginners, and its potential benefits and drawbacks for gastrointestinal health.

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8
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The 6 Worst Foods for Osteoporosis
The 6 Worst Foods for Osteoporosis

When it comes to bone health, good nutrition is absolutely critical. Read on to learn what osteoporosis is and why some foods may increase your risk of or worsen the condition.