Why Do I Only Seem To Be Bothered By Dust During The Pollen Season?

April 8, 2010

Allergy symptoms develop when the allergic immune response is strong enough to evoke release of enough allergic mediators or chemicals by the body to result in symptoms.   The mediator people are most familiar with is histamine since antihistamines are the most common medications used to treat allergy symptoms.

Think of the histamine and other allergic mediators your body is producing as a liquid that is filling an empty cup.   And, think of the symptoms as only developing when the liquid in the cup runs over.  Many people are only slightly allergic to things like dust or dogs, and exposure may not necessarily result in symptoms, or result in only minor symptoms,  since the histamine released in the allergic response to these things is not fully filling the cup.  During pollen season however, if a person is highly allergic to pollens, that cup is already full and anything, regardless of how small, that is added to the cup will result in the cup running over and significant symptoms developing.   And so, you might find that various allergens that don’t affect you in any signifcant way, or at all, in the winter, result in severe symptoms during the pollen season in the spring.   Make sense?

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