Seasonal allergy symptoms and how to manage them
Allergies are among the most chronic conditions worldwide. Pollen from trees, grasses and weeds, plus dust and animal dander float through the air throughout most of year. These particles can end up in our eyes, noses and throats and cause sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, and congestion. Pollen allergies, or seasonal allergies, affect one out of 10 people in the U.S. In some cases, allergies can also trigger asthma symptoms.
For some, allergy symptoms can be controlled by using over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. Other allergy sufferers may have reactions that more seriously disrupt their quality of life. Allergies can also trigger or worsen asthma and lead to other health problems such as sinus infection (sinusitis) and ear infections in children.
Dr. Stephen Sorsby, QualChoice Medical Director, says, "It can be difficult to tell the difference between a cold and allergies since many of the symptoms overlap. With allergies, it would be unusual to have fever, sore throat, aches and yellow drainage. Those are symptoms associated with a common cold. Also, colds usually do not last more than 14 days. Allergies may be seasonal or may occur all year long and produce a clear mucous drainage and often sufferers have itchy, watery eyes.
Currently, in early spring, tree pollen is in the air. Later in the spring and into summer grass pollen will likely be the culprit of allergy symptoms.
How to manage allergy symptoms right now
Sorsby says, "It's important to get your seasonal allergies confirmed by a doctor. If necessary, your physician can perform allergy tests to pinpoint your problem. Always start early with allergy treatment. Many medications will work better (nasal antihistamines/steroids, oral antihistamines and eye drops) if you start them before symptoms begin."
When you should get professional allergy treatment:
You should see an allergist/immunologist if you experience allergies for the first time, you don't find relief with OTC drugs or you experience allergy systems over a long period of time.
Information sourced from QualChoice medical personnel, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For additional information contact:
Christy Garrett, Director of Marketing & Business Development
QualChoice of Arkansas
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