Achoo! Excuse me. Well it’s that time of year. The seasons are changing and there is a lot of sneezing, itchy eyes going on in our house. My husband and I both have horrible allergies. Mine are more seasonal. His are seasonal but he is also allergic to a number of other things. Which is why with our renovations we got rid of the carpet and refinished the hard wood floors. Less allergens that way.
Usually at some point in April I wake up and think I have a horrible cold or that I’m on the verge of a sinus infection. It turns out it is always allergies. I’ve been lucky that if I wake up feeling like I’m sick I’m usually fine the next day. But I always question whether or not I have a cold or not and completely freak out and say I can’t get sick I have this and that coming up. Who has time to get sick right?
Do you often wonder if it’s allergies? Here is some great info provided by MinuteClinic on allergies that will help you navigate allergy season.
What IS an allergy?
An allergy is the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and even some foods can cause allergic reactions.
What causes seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies are a reaction to small airborne substances. These allergens are small proteins that usually float around in the spring, summer and fall.
So, those springtime colds may actually be allergies?
Yes. A cold will typically clear up pretty quickly, within 7-10 days. Allergies may last weeks or even months!
Colds vs. Allergies
Did you know that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies and don’t even know it? That’s because many people confuse the symptoms of spring allergies with a common cold. Here’s what you need to know about the two:
- The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
- If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
- If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyone with allergies has this symptom.
- If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
- Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
- If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occur with allergies.
Treatment and Relief:
How can I protect my family and myself?
Symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Nasal saline, decongestants and over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines may help relieve symptoms as well.
So, how do I get allergy relief?
There are plenty of options! At MinuteClinic, our nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.
If you’re diagnosed with allergies, medication may help relieve your symptoms. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the allergen – whatever it may be.
To learn more visit: http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic
*Disclosure – The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was provided a CVS gift card as compensation for this post.