It happens every spring. As soon as the avocado tree in the front yard starts to flower I start having serious asthma difficulties. In the fall it's typically the sycamore growing in the parkway. With these allergies comes a rise in blood pressure.

Spring : Allergies are not the only problem that can cause a seasonal spike in hypertension. When I was growing up spring was time for planting the garden. It can be very tiring work and as it often means being bent over or crawling on hands and knees (hanging on the plant), our numbers can rise.

While most students would not recognize it, the final spring problem is actually finals. This is in part the anxiety over the tests themselves but the highest likely candidate are energy drinks. Students think of them as a way to get in a few extra hours of studying. That can be unwise. The reaction of the nervous system does not make the outcome of testing likely to be better.

Summer : Most Americans walk around in a permanent state of dehydration. By the time we feel thirsty the process is already well under way. Dehydration causes our numbers to go up.

Two other problems can cause us a summertime rise in this condition. Too much sun, even if it does not result in heat exhaustion or heat stroke can create this condition. So can bites or stems, especially to those allergic.

Fall : Ah, the holidays. Costumes, parties, gift shopping … stress are all parts of it. Some people actually need medication during this time period in order to get through it. Please remember that there are those who have good reasons for not enjoying them. They may be alone or had a death in the family. Spreading cheer must be done with compassion in mind.

Winter : This is the time frame when most of us are likely to get sick. It's not because the weather makes us sick. It's because the weather brings us all inside. In some places, injuries are likely due to ice and snow.

The worst malady for high blood pressure is cabin fever. Being stuck at home (or any other location) for days at a time becomes irritating. Arguments and fights are likely. Everyone just wants to get out of there.

It may take some planning to get around these seasonal problems. Study earlier and cramming will not be needed. Talk to the doctor about allergies. Make sure you drink enough even if you do not feel thirsty. Plan on new things to do during inclement weather. These could help keep your blood pressure under control.