Tips to Help During the Allergy Season

Allergy season has officially arrived. Over the last few years, with COVID, every little sneeze or symptom has sent us into a spiral of worry about potential infection and worsening symptoms. A huge amount of those symptoms have been from allergies.

The allergy season can be filled with frustration from sneezing, red eyes, skin changes, and itching of the eyes and of the skin. It is really important to know what your symptoms are and what causes them.

Typically the first-line treatment is an allergy medication.

There are a number of options from Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, and Benadryl. You might find one that works better for you so try them all out. Remember, Benadryl can make you sleepy.

However, there are other medications such as Sudafed, Mucinex, and such that can help with the nasal congestion portion of allergies. They are not intended to treat allergies, but we all know that there can be a lot of nasal drainage. These mediations may help.

Keep an allergy diary.

This is especially important when trying to understand foods that are causing problems. Tracking pollen counts, places you went outdoors, and contact with animals may help navigate the frustrations that come with allergies. It doesn’t mean that you will skip going outside, but maybe you take a medication before going into situations that you know will aggravate your allergies.

Keep track of your symptoms.

Not all allergies will work in the same way. For example, some people who are allergic to cats will act differently on a high pollen day. The symptoms may be different. You might also only have itching of the throat with certain things. Knowing your symptoms is equally important to know your allergy triggers. Treatment may depend on your symptoms.

Questions you might ask yourself:

1.)  What time of day?
2.)  What time of the week?
3.)  What time of year?

Experts say that often:

– If symptoms are from March until May – possible that you have a tree pollen allergy
– If symptoms are from Memorial day into middle of July – possible that you have a grass pollen allergy
– If symptoms are from late summer until winter starts – possible that you have a ragweed or seed pollen allergy

Consider an Allergy test

This is a sensitive test that can help you identify what you are most allergic to. Often individuals with multiple allergies, symptoms, and times of the year that they are affected; a specialized test is most beneficial.

These tests could be done with small amounts put into your skin to see what reacts with swelling, redness, or rash. Blood testing is also available but these can be slightly confusing. Sometimes you will get something that tests positives but you know that it isn’t something that bothers you.

Allergy Symptoms vs COVID

It is important to remember that allergy symptoms may be similar to COVID, but not all of them will be.

COVID and allergies can both cause runny nose, sore throat, headaches, cough, fatigue.

Allergies can cause sneezing, itchy or watery eyes and usually COVID doesn’t

Additionally, COVID can cause shortness of breath, body aches, and loss of taste or smell.

It is important to know some of the differences to alleviate concerns or questions.

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