Why do we get a runny nose?

The why behind blocked and stuffy noses, in spring time

The early spring feeling of blocked and stuffy noses is never a welcome sign as we step into spring time and daylight savings. The seasonal change into spring brings with it many long-awaited delights, including longer, light warm evenings and more blue skies as we head into the warmer months and end of the year. For many, feeling all stuffed up and blocked with allergies, struggling sinuses, nasal tickles and snuffles is so common at spring time.

The histamine effect – the main culprits

The start of spring, more than any other season can bring distress for those who suffer with seasonal allergies. As the weather warms, many plants also start coming out of winter hibernation mode and start releasing pollens in response to the longer warmer daylight hours. Our New Zealand landscape leads itself to heavy pollen loads in the environment from grasses, tree, flowers, weeds and shrubs, and pollen can come from nearly anywhere. There are many known culprits from garden plants to dust for triggering an allergy like state and impacting on normal histamine levels.

It can feel impossible to escape from, the exact pollen culprits are nearly always unknown and it can be very weather dependent. The volatile spring weather is an ideal trigger for those with plant allergies, the warm windy wild spring weather will spread it far and wide acting as a perfect pollen trigger for many allergy sufferers.

Common plants that can trigger off those with susceptibility to pollen and spring time allergies are the following,

Trees - Beech, cedar, pine, poplar, sycamore, willow and palm

Grasses – timothy, perennial rye, orchard and fescue

Weeds and Flowers – jasmine, privet, daisy family, dahlia and chrysanthemums

There are other common pollen triggers that are not plants but they can be just as aggravating for those with seasonal allergies. The other triggers can be dust mites and mould for those with allergies especially so for those with year-round allergies.

The common allergy signs

  • Runny or blocked nose,
  • Watery and tired eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing and sniffles
  • Itchy eyes and nose
  • Dark circles under eyes


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Check out part 2 of this blog

How to shake off blocked and stuffy noses


Why do we get a runny nose?
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