25.jpegSpring is a beautiful time of year, but for many, it also means dealing with bothersome allergies. The seasonal changes cause plants and flowers to bloom, releasing pollen into the air, which can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. These reactions include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and even skin rashes.

If you are one of those people who suffer from spring allergies, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with seasonal allergies. But just because it’s a common issue doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it.

Prima CARE is here to help you navigate through the spring allergy season and provide you with some tips on how to deal with your symptoms.

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Spring allergies, also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are caused by an allergic reaction to airborne allergens. When these tiny pollen grains enter our body through the nose or mouth, they trigger the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals, which causes inflammation and leads to allergy symptoms.

Some of the most common seasonal allergy triggers include:

  • Pollen

    Pollen is the most common allergen in spring. It's a fine powder released by plants, including trees, grasses, and weeds, to fertilize other plants of the same species. Pollen grains can travel for long distances through the air, which means you can come into contact with them even if you don't have blooming plants nearby.

  • Mold Spores

    Mold grows in damp areas, and its spores can be released into the air during springtime. These tiny particles can trigger allergic reactions when inhaled.

  • Dust Mites

    These tiny creatures thrive in warm, humid environments and feed on dead human skin cells. They can become airborne during activities like spring cleaning, leading to allergic reactions when inhaled. Regular vacuuming and dusting can help reduce their numbers.

  • Pet Dander

    Many pets shed their winter coats in the spring, releasing dander into the air. These tiny flecks of skin shed by animals with fur or feathers can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Regular grooming of pets and cleaning of their living spaces can help control pet dander.


Each person will experience different allergy symptoms, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Postnasal drip
  • Coughing
  • Itchy throat or roof of mouth
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Skin rashes or hives

For some, these symptoms can escalate to more severe reactions like:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Intense headaches
  • Sinus infections

If you experience any of these severe symptoms, it's important to seek medical help immediately.


Dr. Joseph Zhou, a Board-certified specialist in Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at Prima CARE, can help you determine the cause of your allergies through a physical exam and reviewing your medical history.

He may also recommend the following tests to identify the specific allergens that trigger your reactions:

  • Skin prick and intradermal skin testing: A small amount of allergen is injected under the skin to see if it causes an allergic reaction.
  • Skin patch testing: A patch containing possible allergens is placed on the skin to check for a reaction.
  • ImmunoCAP blood testing: A blood test that measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in your blood.
  • Oral Food Challenge (OFC): A test to identify food allergies by consuming small amounts of the suspected allergen under medical supervision.

Tips for Dealing With Spring Allergies

There are several ways to alleviate spring allergy symptoms and make the season more enjoyable.

  • Avoid Allergens

    The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid exposure to triggers. Here are some helpful tips

    • Check the daily pollen count before heading outside.
    • Stay indoors on windy days when pollen counts are high.
    • Keep windows and doors closed during peak pollen times (from late morning to midday).
    • Use an air conditioner or an air purifier to remove outdoor allergens from the air inside your home.
    • Wear a mask when doing yard work or gardening.
    • Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in pollen.
  • Keep Your Home Clean

    Regularly dusting and vacuuming your home can help reduce exposure to allergens like dust mites and pet dander. It's also helpful to wash bedding and curtains regularly in hot water to remove any allergens.

  • Over-the-Counter Medications

    There are numerous over-the-counter medications available that can help relieve spring allergy symptoms, including:

    • Antihistamines: These block histamine and reduce symptoms like sneezing and itching.
    • Decongestants: These relieve nasal congestion and pressure.
      • Nasal spray: A type of decongestant that specifically targets inflammation in the nasal passages, providing relief from symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose.
  • Try Natural Remedies

    Some allergy sufferers find relief with natural remedies such as:

    • Local honey, like from Fall River Honey, Al’s Backwoods Berrie Co., & Nettie's Bees, may help build immunity to pollen allergies.
    • Nasal irrigation with a saline solution to flush out allergens from the nasal passages.
    • Eating foods high in vitamin C, like oranges or kiwi, which can reduce inflammation caused by allergies.
    • Herbal supplements like butterbur or stinging nettle, which have been shown to improve allergy symptoms.
  • Immunotherapy

    For those with severe allergies, allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be a good option. It involves exposing the body to small doses of allergens to gradually build immunity and reduce symptoms.

    Prima CARE offers three core immunology treatments:

    • Conventional immunotherapy: This involves regular injections of an allergen extract to build immunity over time.
    • Cluster (also known as rapid) immunotherapy: Patients receive multiple injections at once to speed up the desensitization process.
    • Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Treatment (SLIT or “allergy drops'): This treatment involves placing a small amount of allergen extract under the tongue daily to build immunity.
  • Consult with an Allergy Specialist

    If your symptoms are severe and affecting your daily life, it may be time to consult an allergy specialist like Dr. Joseph Zhou. He can help identify the cause of your allergies and provide personalized treatment options to manage your symptoms.

Treat Spring Allergies At Prima CARE

Dealing with spring allergies can be challenging, but it doesn't have to ruin your enjoyment of the season. By understanding the common triggers and following some simple tips and remedies, you can alleviate your symptoms and make the most of springtime.

While avoiding your triggers and trying over-the-counter medications may provide relief, it's always a good idea to visit an allergy specialist if your symptoms are severe. Dr. Joseph Zhou and the team of healthcare professionals at Prima CARE can help you find relief from your spring allergies.

If you're experiencing spring allergies or have any concerns about your health, schedule an appointment with us today and breathe easier this season!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the allergy season last?

The duration of allergy season varies depending on your location and the allergens that trigger your symptoms. In Fall River, Massachusetts, allergy seasons typically span from early spring through fall, with varying intensity based on weather conditions and specific allergens. Tree pollen is a major contributor in the spring, while ragweed and other allergens can cause issues from late summer to fall. In general, spring allergy season can start as early as February and last through early summer.

Can allergies develop later in life?

Yes, it is possible for allergies to develop at any age. You may have been exposed to certain allergens earlier in life without experiencing symptoms, but over time your body can become sensitized and react with an allergic response. This is known as adult-onset allergies.

How can I tell the difference between a cold and allergies?

Allergies and the common cold share similar symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. However, there are some key differences. Colds usually last for a week or two and may come with fever or body aches, while allergies can last for weeks or even months without any fever. Allergy symptoms also tend to be consistent, while cold symptoms may change and evolve over time. If you're unsure, it's best to consult with an allergy specialist at Prima CARE for an accurate diagnosis.