Seasonal Allergies and SymptomsJune 23, 2020 4:25 pm
How to Alleviate Seasonal Allergies and Symptoms
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’ve surely well aware: allergy season is upon us! For many of us, this puts a damper on the warmer weather, as we battle bouts of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other symptoms caused by pollen or other allergens.
How do I know whether this is a cold, sinus infection, allergies, or Covid-19?
Runny noses and sneezing makes many of us very anxious. We’re left wondering if this is allergies, a cold, or even Covid-19! Sore throat, a runny, stuffy nose and a cough are typically seen with a cold, but may also be seen with allergies. Fatigue can be experienced with both a cold and allergies. We’ve listed some differences between a cold and allergies to help you tell the difference:
- Colds usually last 3 to 14 days while allergies can last days to months, colds usually don’t last longer than 14 days.
- Colds tend to occur during winter months while allergies can occur any time of the year.
- Cold symptoms can take a few days to appear while you can experience allergy symptoms immediately after contact with triggers.
- Symptoms you’re likely to have with a cold but not allergies include aches, and possibly a fever.
- Symptoms you’re likely to have with allergies, but not a cold include itchy, watery eyes.
COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- A cough
- Body aches
- Recently experiencing a loss of smell/taste
- Sore throat
- Congestion/runny nose
In an effort to help everyone make the most of the next few months, we’ve put together some tips and strategies to help combat seasonal allergies.
Let The Weather Be Your Guide
There is no denying that seasonal allergies — also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis — can make you miserable. You can actually minimize or prevent symptoms by simply preparing ahead of time. One step to take is to remain aware of the current and upcoming weather conditions and how these conditions might affect what’s in the air.
- Try to stay inside on dry, windy days when there is likely to be more pollen blowing around in the air.
- Avoid tasks like cutting the grass or pulling weeds. If that’s not an option, wear a pollen mask during these chores, and be sure to take off your clothes, wash them and take a shower yourself once you return inside. This will help reduce the amount of pollen you bring into the home.
- Do not hang dry sheets, towels, clothes or other laundry during this season as pollen can easily cling to these fabrics.
How can I prevent allergies?
There are a number of things you can do to stay ahead of the symptoms of allergies:
- Keep informed of when the pollen count is going to be high.
- Take preventative medications before symptoms kick in.
- Avoid the outdoors or times when pollen count is the highest.
- Keep your indoor environment as comfortable as possible. If possible, use the air conditioning, high-efficiency filters, a dehumidifier and an air filter.
How Can I Treat Allergies?
Thankfully there are a number of readily available over-the-counter medications that are effective in easing allergy symptoms.
- Oral antihistamines like loratadine (found in Claritin and Alavert), and cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy) can help alleviate sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes.
- If you tend to become congested from your allergies, oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol) generally provide some temporary relief. It is recommended that these decongestants only be used for a few days in a row, after which the continued use could actually worsen symptoms. You should not use these preparations if you have heart problems or high blood pressure.
- There are a number of combination medications on the market that target all of the symptoms mentioned above and might work for you as a comprehensive solution to your symptoms. These include loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D) and fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D). These medications may raise your blood pressure so do not use them without consulting a doctor if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, or have had a stroke in the past.
There are also some natural remedies that can be successful in reducing the severity of seasonal allergies and resulting symptoms. A saline nasal rinse, often called a Neti pot, is one option. These rinses are available at your local pharmacy or health food store and can provide inexpensive relief for nasal congestion, flushing out mucus and allergens from your nose. Be sure to follow the directions on these rinses carefully, using only distilled, sterile water and a recommended amount of saline mix. Because you are flushing water into your sinuses, it is critical that the neti pot or squeeze bottle be kept clean! Again, carefully follow cleaning instructions on packaging.
Though the efficacy of natural allergy remedies remain unproven, treatments using certain herbal extracts, like shrub butterbar and spirulina are believed to treat seasonal allergy symptoms. Before trying any natural remedies, consult with your primary care provider.
Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by CJ Urgent Care of NJ