Seasonal Allergies Are Caused By a “Bored” Immune System
Spring has arrived – and with it seasonal allergies. Dr. Simone Bruemmer is a primary care physician at Bronson Family Medicine on Helmer Road in Battle Creek. She talked with Tim Collins on the WBCK Morning Show.
So what happens when people experience seasonal allergies? Everybody knows that pollen is a major cause of watery eyes, sneezing and all the other symptoms. But what causes it? Dr. Bruemmer says it’s our immune systems rebelling. “When pollen is inhaled, the body’s immune system, or actually antibodies, respond to the pollen. It’s actually an over-response to something that it shouldn’t respond to.”
Have human beings always suffered with seasonal allergies? Has it become more widespread over history? Dr. Bruemmer says advances in medicine may actually be the cause of more allergies. “Even today, when you look at third world countries, many people there don’t have allergies because their immune systems are trying to fight off very serious diseases, such as malaria. In the western world, we don’t have as many diseases and germs, so our bodies are actually trying to find things to fight.” In other words, our immune systems are getting bored.
Dr. Bruemmer has a few suggestions for alergy sufferers.
- Stay inside on dry and windy, high-pollen days if possible. Even hanging out the laundry can trigger symptoms on a bad day.
- Make sure filters in your home are clean.
- Wash hands frequently after coming inside.
- Finding the right over-the-counter medicine.
- Don’t overuse nasal sprays, or the problems can actually worsen.
If your symptoms are unusually bad, you can reach out to your primary physician, and if you need one, consider calling Bronson Family Medicine on Helmer Road in Battle Creek at 269-341-7788