Spring allergies affect more than 50 million people each year, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). If you’re an allergy sufferer, you likely know the common causes and triggers for your symptoms. However, you may not be aware of these lesser-known facts about spring allergies.
1. Pollen travels hundreds of miles. Research has shown that pollen of pine trees, a common culprit of spring allergies, can travel over 300 to 600 miles.
2. Stress can make your allergy symptoms worse. Google data shows that stress spikes in the springtime, and stress increases the amount of histamine in your blood stream, contributing to annoying allergy symptoms. Doctors at Harvard Medical School also say that stress intensifies how bothered you are by coughing, sneezing and that runny nose.
3. Allergy symptoms spike during PMS and pregnancy. Higher levels of hormones, including estrogen, can make itchy eyes and other spring allergy symptoms worse, according to physicians at Penn Medicine.
4. Thunderstorms don’t help. Rain washes allergens away, but thunderstorms don’t have the same effect. The AAFA says that severe weather, which is most common during the spring and summer, can pick up and swirl pollen around, leading to a phenomenon known as “thunderstorm asthma.”
5. Ladybug allergies are real. One study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology journal found that Asian ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis) caused an allergic reaction in 50 percent of allergy sufferers. When warmer spring weather arrives, some people find Asian ladybugs inside and outside their houses, so researchers recommend that spring allergy sufferers check their homes for infestation.
6. Allergies decline as you grow older. There is some good news. With age, your immune system produces less immunoglobulin E — the antibody responsible for allergic reactions — which decreases your symptoms.