We have often heard about the spring season triggering allergies, especially from pollen. However, did you know that even monsoon triggers its own set of allergies? Especially in tropical and subtropical regions across the globe like India, experiences heavy rainfall, high humidity, and the growth of mold and other allergens.
These conditions can cause allergies in some people, resulting in a variety of symptoms that can be bothersome and, in some cases, severe. While the term “monsoon allergies” may imply that these allergies only occur during the rainy season, the triggers and allergens associated with these allergies can persist throughout the year, depending on the region and climate.
Conditions that promote mould growth, dust mite proliferation, and other allergens during the monsoon season can extend into other seasons in many places, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas. High humidity and damp environments can persist even after the monsoon season has ended, making these allergens a year-round concern for some people.
In this article below we shall try to understand what are allergies, why monsoon allergies occur, when to seek help, and probably reach out to well established hospitals like Ruby Hall Clinic in case the symptoms continue to become severe.
What are Allergies? Why do Allergies Occur?
Allergies are abnormal immune responses to substances that are normally innocuous to the majority of people. When an allergic person comes into contact with an allergen, their immune system responds by producing an antibody known as immunoglobulin E. (IgE). This antibody causes the release of chemicals like histamine, which causes allergic symptoms.
Allergies can cause a mild to severe immune response. Sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, skin rashes, and hives are all common allergic reactions. Allergies can cause difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of the face or throat (which can be fatal), and anaphylaxis in severe cases.
Monsoon Allergies: Thriving in Humidity
During the monsoon season, anyone who is even mildly allergic to pollen or has a history of asthma or eczema may experience allergies. This weather also causes sweaty feet and wet, sticky shoes, which leads to the development of allergies. Chemicals found in rubber or plastic shoes, such as bonding agents, glues, adhesives, and treatment agents, react with water and cause contact dermatitis.
- Contact Dermatitis
During the monsoon season, it is common for clothes and shoes to become wet, creating a breeding ground for allergies. Synthetic clothing contains chemicals, and when they rub against the body, they cause allergies. As a result, many people experience itching during the monsoon season. When cheap synthetic raincoats, jackets, and gloves come into contact with the skin, they can cause allergies. These allergies can result in fungal infections, particularly in body folds such as the inside of the elbows and the back of the knees.
Moulds are fungi that grow in the presence of food and water. They can grow on wet walls, in household junk, and even on heavy tapestries. Moulds are known to cause a variety of allergic problems in monsoons, including skin allergies, allergic rhinitis, and allergic asthma.
- Fungal Infections
During the monsoon season, ringworms and whitish furry growths between the fingers and toes (athlete’s foot) are common fungal infections. The high amount of perspiration during the monsoon season is another reason for the increase in fungal infections. Because of the high moisture content in the air, sweat does not dry quickly. The presence of salt on the skin irritates it, and fungi grow extremely quickly in such areas, causing itchiness and redness. Because fungal infections are contagious, you must always take good care of your skin.
The hair follicle is infected with a bacterial infection. Even though our entire body is covered in hair as a form of skin protection, when sweat and pollutants come into contact with the skin, they cause the hair follicles to break out in painful pimples. Folliculitis can appear on the upper back, arms, thighs, and forehead. Since bacteria grow faster in moist environments, bacterial skin infections such as impetigo are more common during the rains.
Managing Monsoon Allergies
Start by discovering specific allergens through allergy testing to manage monsoon allergies. Once you’ve identified your triggers, take proactive steps to reduce exposure, such as keeping indoor spaces dry and well-ventilated, using air purifiers, and cleaning on a regular basis to reduce mould and dust mite growth.
To reduce pollen exposure, avoid peak allergen times and wear a mask when going outside. Symptom relief can be achieved with over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen, as personalised treatment may include prescription medications or immunotherapy to desensitise the immune response to allergens. Aside from that, the following suggestions will assist you in making proactive choices to reduce allergy triggers.
- Keep Your Living Space Clean: Clean your home on a regular basis, especially in areas prone to dampness and mould growth. To prevent moisture buildup, use mold-resistant paint and provide adequate ventilation. To eliminate dust mites and other allergens, hoover regularly with a HEPA filter.
- Monitor Indoor Humidity: To keep indoor humidity levels between 40-50%, use dehumidifiers or air conditioners. Lower humidity levels aid in the prevention of mould growth and the reduction of dust mite populations.
- Avoid Dampness: To avoid water stagnation, install proper drainage systems in and around your home. Repair any leaks or damp spots as soon as possible. Carpets and rugs should be avoided in areas prone to moisture because they can trap allergens.
- Practice Personal Hygiene: To reduce the chances of allergens entering your body, wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your face. After coming inside, take a shower to wash away any allergens that may have clung to your skin or hair.
- Wear Protective Gear: If you have severe allergies, consider wearing a mask or a scarf to cover your nose and mouth when you are outside. This can aid in the filtering of allergens and the reduction of their impact on your respiratory system.
- Consult an Allergist: If your allergies are severe or persistent, you should see an allergist, who can perform tests to identify specific allergens and recommend appropriate treatment options such as antihistamines or allergy shots.
When to Seek Medical Help For Monsoon Allergies?
While mild allergy symptoms are often manageable with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, it is critical to seek medical attention in the following situations:
- Severe symptoms: Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing, chest tightness, significant swelling of the face or throat, or symptoms that interfere with your daily activities. These could be symptoms of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that requires immediate treatment.
- Persistent or worsening symptoms: If your allergy symptoms persist for an extended period of time, have a significant impact on your quality of life, or worsen despite self-care measures, you should see a healthcare professional or allergist. They can assess your symptoms, identify potential triggers, and make treatment recommendations.
- Uncertainty about the cause: If you are unsure of the cause of your symptoms or suspect that multiple allergens are at work, seeking medical attention can be beneficial. Allergy testing by a healthcare professional or allergist can help identify specific allergens and guide you in effectively managing your allergies.
- Concurrent health conditions: If you have pre-existing respiratory conditions like asthma, are pregnant, or have other underlying health concerns, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional for proper allergy evaluation and management.
Remember that seeking medical assistance can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment options, and advice on allergen avoidance strategies, allowing you to better manage your allergies and improve your quality of life.
Each person’s allergy triggers are unique, and it’s critical to identify specific allergens through allergy testing in order to effectively manage and reduce exposure to them. Assume you have allergies or are experiencing allergic symptoms. In that case, it is best to consult with a healthcare professional or allergist who can perform appropriate tests and offer advice on how to manage your specific allergies.
Navigating Allergy Treatments: From Over-The-Counter to Specialists
Remember that seeking medical help can provide you with an accurate diagnosis, tailored treatment options, and allergen avoidance advice, allowing you to better manage your allergies and improve your quality of life.
Each person’s allergy triggers are unique, and it’s critical to identify specific allergens through allergy testing in order to manage and reduce exposure to them effectively. Assume you have allergies or are suffering from allergic reactions. In that case, it is best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional or allergist who can perform appropriate tests and advise you on how to manage your specific allergies.
First-line Treatments: Over-the-Counter Antihistamines and Decongestants:
Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can be used as first-line treatments for mild to moderate monsoon allergy symptoms. Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released during an allergic reaction, and can help relieve symptoms like sneezing, itching, and a runny nose. Decongestants relieve stuffy noses by reducing nasal congestion and swelling of the nasal passages. These medications are widely available without a prescription at pharmacies.
When to Consult a Specialist: Persistent Symptoms, Severe Reactions:
If your allergy symptoms persist despite using over-the-counter treatments, or if you have severe allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling, or anaphylaxis, you should see an allergy specialist. An allergist can perform extensive allergy testing to identify specific triggers and provide personalised treatment plans to effectively manage your allergies.
Ruby Hall Clinic At Your Service: Treat Your Problems, Don’t Retreat
As a multi-specialty hospital, Ruby Hall Clinic provides a variety of allergy-related treatments and services. Rather than allowing monsoon allergies to worsen, it is best to seek medical attention right away. To deal with the increase in allergy cases, the hospital is well-equipped with skilled practitioners and equipment. Among the hospital’s amenities are:
- Allergy Testing: To identify specific allergens that cause your symptoms, the hospital offers comprehensive allergy testing, including skin prick tests, blood tests (RAST), and patch tests.
- Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots): Allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, may be available at Ruby Hall Clinic. This treatment entails gradually increasing allergen doses to desensitise the immune system and reduce allergic reactions over time.
- Prescription Medications: Ruby Hall Clinic’s allergy specialists can prescribe stronger and more targeted medications, such as nasal corticosteroids, leukotriene inhibitors, and other allergy medications, based on your specific needs.
- Emergency Care for Severe Reactions: The hospital’s emergency department is equipped to handle severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, providing immediate medical attention and life-saving treatments.
- Allergy Management Plans: Allergy specialists can create personalised allergy management plans that may include lifestyle recommendations and allergen avoidance strategies to reduce trigger exposure.
Remember that seeking specialised care at Ruby Hall Clinic can result in a more accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and improved management of your monsoon allergies, resulting in improved quality of life and a lower risk of severe allergic reactions.
To summarise, understanding and managing monsoon allergies is critical for minimising discomfort and improving overall health during the rainy season. Mold, pollen, and dust mites are common allergens during this time of year. Over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, for example, can provide relief for mild symptoms. Persistent or severe reactions, on the other hand, necessitate consultation with a specialist, such as an allergist.
A variety of allergy-related services are available at Ruby Hall Clinic, a multi-specialty hospital, including allergy testing, immunotherapy, prescription medications, and emergency care for severe reactions. Seeking specialised care can result in an accurate diagnosis, personalised treatment plans, and effective allergen management strategies, making the monsoon season more comfortable and healthy.