The science behind your allergies this time of year


As temperatures have warmed up, the skies have brightened and signs of life are everywhere. Flowers are peeking up out of the soil and the trees are starting to bloom as well. This means pollen is also moving back into the picture, and you may have seen it recently because the pollen levels have been very high as of late.

As trees, grasses and other plants start to flower, pollen fills the air as those plants try to reproduce. Problems arise when that pollen gets into our bodies, typically through the eyes or the nose when we breathe. Once it's inside, the white blood cells of someone who's allergic to it kick into gear. Those cells look at the pollen as an invader and they get to work fighting it. This leads to the production of mucus, itchy eyes, a runny nose and sneezing, among other things.

In a nutshell, these reactions are nothing more than the body overreacting to something that shouldn't cause any problems at all.

If you are allergic to pollen, avoid yard work and limit your time outdoors, especially on dry and windy days. Also, if you're highly allergic, showering when you come inside and changing your clothes will limit your exposure to pollen. You should also avoid drying your clothes outdoors because they can pick up pollen as well.