Don’t let your nose do more running than your legs this spring! Seasonal allergies, hay fever, allergic rhinitis – no matter what you refer to them as, there is one common denominator everyone can agree on: they’re inconvenient. Before moving to the desert to avoid the itchy sore throat you get every spring, take steps to prevent and manage allergies.
What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies occur when allergens such as mold, trees, grasses and weeds release spores and pollen into the air. When a person is allergic to allergens, their immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, to combat the allergens. Allergy symptoms are caused by the release of chemicals into your body. Seasonal allergy symptoms may be attributed to the common cold, but if come down with a “cold” at the same time every year – it’s likely seasonal allergies. Check out some of the most common allergy symptoms below:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
As if the symptoms of allergies aren’t bothersome enough, pollen and spores can irritate your skin and aggravate asthma. Eczema and contact dermatitis can be agitated by spores and pollen, causing a rash, itching, redness, or dryness of the skin. Pollen and spores are also known to trigger asthma at this time of year. If you experience symptoms of an asthma attack such as a tight chest and shortness of breath, seek medical care immediately.
Tips to prevent seasonal allergies
There are alternatives to defending yourself against seasonal allergies besides living in a plastic bubble throughout the season!
- Check the local pollen count here. If counts are high, consider limiting your outdoor activity or wearing a pollen mask.
- Purchase indoor clothes drying rack. Clothes left to dry outside during this time of year act as pollen and spore magnets.
- Utilizing an air purifier and keeping windows and doors shut can help manage pollen levels in your home.
- Indoor/outdoor animals such as dogs and cats can act as pollen and spore superhighways! Make sure you are keeping your furry friends clean, too.
Treatment of seasonal allergies
Common treatments to ease symptoms include over the counter medications including oral antihistamines, decongestants, nasal spray or eye drops. In severe cases, you may need a doctor to diagnose allergies and get a prescription to relieve your symptoms. Another form of treatment is immunotherapy, where injections gradually expose you to an allergen (ex: pollen) over time. Instead of blocking the symptoms, your body learns how to tolerate the allergen!
ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care centers are equipped to treat all urgent non-life-threatening medical needs including allergies, asthma, and any other urgent medical needs that may arise during the spring season. Click here to find the nearest ClearChoiceMD Urgent Care near you!