Living in the grass seed capital of the world is no sneezing matter for thousands of allergy sufferers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The wonders of nature that make it verdant and green also send some people scrambling to treat itchy eyes, runny noses and other symptoms.
Although most people think of allergy season as the springtime when things are in bloom, our various microclimates ensure that in Oregon, every season is allergy season. Fortunately, over-the-counter remedies can keep many symptoms at bay, and medical professionals can offer additional assistance when they are not enough.
Allergies are caused when your body produces an immune reaction to allergens you encounter. These can be anything from pollen and other flora, to mold and pet dander. Many times, people can make an educated guess as to the cause of their allergy symptoms, simply because their symptoms present soon after exposure to something such as a cat, dog or a specific kind of flower. However, additional testing by a medical provider with specialized allergy training may be required to identify other triggers because sometimes people are allergic to more than one thing.
Although most people think of allergy season as the springtime when things are in bloom, our various microclimates ensure that in Oregon, every season is allergy season.
Mild allergy symptoms to environmental factors can be unpleasant but are often successfully treated with over-the-counter medications. These symptoms are often transient or seasonal:
• Rash or hive
• Watery/red eyes
• Hay fever (sneezing, congestion)
• Runny nose
However, stronger allergic reactions to the environment, such as those listed below, may require medications and treatments prescribed by a medical provider. In rare cases, such as extreme food, insect or drug allergies, the symptoms may be life-threatening.
• Severe itching of eyes or face
• Varying degrees of swelling of the mouth, throat, and tongue
• Difficulty breathing and swallowing
• Abdominal pain
• Mental confusion or dizziness
If you think you or your child may have an allergy to food, insects or medications, and if your environmental allergies are interfering with quality of life, seek medical advice. You should speak with your primary care provider for next steps, which may include patch testing on the skin.
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