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 you decide to move to the desert in order to avoid the itchy sore throat you get every spring, consider taking steps to prevent and manage your 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 these types of allergens, their immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, to combat the allergens. Those inconvenient allergy symptoms are caused by the release of these chemicals into your body. Symptoms of seasonal allergies may be pushed aside and attributed to the common cold, but if you tend to come down with a “cold” around the same time every year – it’s likely to be 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 the abundance of 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 an 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 more severe cases, you may need to see a doctor to properly diagnosis your allergies and get a prescription to relieve your symptoms. Another effective form of treatment is immunotherapy, where injections are used to 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!