Nasal allergy attacks can be debilitating. Here’s how to stop an allergy sneeze attack, how to find allergy attack relief, and when to see a doctor for allergies.
Causes of Seasonal Allergy Attacks
Is your nose running? Are your eyes red and itching? Does your throat feel like it’s lined with sandpaper? Can’t stop coughing or sneezing? Are you tossing and turning all night because you can’t breathe? Lucky you! You are one of 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, and some suffer even more severe cases of allergy attacks.
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, are most common from March through June but can last through October in warmer climates. Colder weather during the fall and winter months brings relief as the triggers for certain allergies go dormant.
What are the triggers for seasonal allergies? They’re all around you, indoors and outdoors, and include elements like pollen and mold. Pollen, made by trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers, is a powdery substance that can float through the air, be carried by the wind, cling to animal fur and insects, and even to your clothes, skin, and hair. Mold is a fungus that releases spores into the air, triggering an allergic response. Mold can thrive indoors or outdoors and needs moisture to grow, such as a rotting log, piles of leaves, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements lacking good ventilation that create humid environments where mold blooms.
When you are exposed to pollens and mold, which are foreign substances to your body, your immune system mounts a virulent response. It perceives the pollen and mold as harmful invaders and produces antibodies that trigger the release of histamines (the stuff that makes you sneeze, wheeze, get stuffy, etc.). Your immune system is overreacting to a harmless foreign substance, trying to get it out of your body through mucous, sneezing, watery eyes, all the irritating symptoms you’ve come to know so well.
Why Allergies Attack at Night and How to Quit Sneezing
When you’re having a nasal allergy attack, you still must get through your day, going to work, taking care of your family, and making dinner. Life doesn’t stop for allergy attacks, not even at night when you finally try to rest. In fact, having an allergy attack at night is quite common. Here’s why and how to stop allergy attacks at night:
- Lying down creates post-nasal drip. The congestion from your nose drips down the back of your throat, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Propping yourself upright on pillows drains congestion more effectively and can allow you better rest.
- Dust and mold can proliferate in your bedroom, the most allergenic part of your home. The allergens you’ve been exposed to all day are now joined by the allergens present in your bedroom, like dust mites in your pillows, mattress and box spring, carpet, or mold in the walls. Covering your bedding in dust mite protectors, vacuuming frequently, or even getting rid of carpet altogether can be helpful. An air purifier in the bedroom can also reduce allergens.
- Sleeping with your pet may be one of life’s great joys, but it’s not so great for allergy sufferers. Pet dander, the skin, saliva, sweat, and urine shed by your pet, accumulates on your bedding and adds to the other allergens already plaguing you at night. Consider a pet bed located somewhere other than your bedroom, and you might get some allergy attack relief.
- Pollen encountered during the day lingers on your hair, skin, and clothes. When you come home at night, cleanse your hair and body, and throw the day’s clothes in the washer. Put on clean pajamas, and you’re one step closer to a good night’s sleep.
- Want to know how to quit sneezing? It’s simple: fall asleep. The body cannot sneeze while sleeping. Unfortunately, this is also why allergies can be worse at night. A sneeze is one way the immune system tries to rid the body of offending invaders, and when you can’t sneeze, symptoms can get worse.
Allergy Attack Relief
While seasonal allergies are common and most often harmless, they can last for months and worsen the quality of your life. But relief can be found. Let’s examine a few options:
- Prevention is key. Avoid allergy triggers. Stay indoors when the pollen count is high with the windows and doors closed. Vacuum, dust, wash bedding and clothes, repair leaks that foster mold growth, and be sure to take any medications prescribed by your doctor.
- Antihistamines can be purchased over the counter (OTC) and are effective relief for minor allergic reactions since they block the histamines that fuel allergy symptoms.
- Nasal decongestants can also be found OTC and work by restricting the blood vessels that expand and cause congestion so you can breathe.
- Anti-inflammatory medications also reduce swelling of the airways caused by allergies, making breathing easier.
- Saline nasal rinses wash pollen out of nasal passages where it can cling and exacerbate symptoms. You can buy a nasal rinse or properly use a neti pot at home.
When to Seek Medical Advice: American Family Care is There for You
Relief can be found OTC and at home, but if those remedies don’t work, knowing when to see a doctor who can treat allergic reactions is important. Some allergic reactions can be severe and even life-threatening. A condition called anaphylaxis causes airways to close and, without immediate medical attention, can be fatal. Asthma, sinusitis, ear and lung infections, and other allergic conditions can also be quite serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is advised to seek medical attention and come up with an effective treatment and management plan.
And you may wonder — can urgent care treat allergic reactions? Absolutely, and often more quickly and conveniently than a trip to your doctor. At American Family Care, we offer seasonal allergy treatment. You can avoid debilitating allergies with fast, reliable care for the whole family. Don’t suffer from sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, disrupted sleep, and post-nasal drip. Our urgent care centers are open every day for extended hours, and experienced medical staff is ready to provide you relief from allergy attacks.
Find a location today and begin to breathe easier.