Are Seasonal Allergies Causing Sniffles? Here's How to Feel Better
Do you usually find yourself sniffling when seasons change? Over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, which results in more than 12 million trips to health care providers’ offices each year. Seasonal allergies are very common. But with a few simple steps, you can often nip the symptoms of seasonal allergies in the bud!
What Causes Seasonal Allergies and What Are the Symptoms?
Seasonal allergies are caused by common allergens like pollens, grasses, weeds and mold spores. When you think about seasonal allergies, you might immediately think of spring – but depending on what you are allergic to, you may also have seasonal allergies in the summer or fall.
The symptoms of seasonal allergies vary widely and are different for each person. One of the most common symptoms is rhinitis, a condition that causes swelling and congestion inside your nose. In addition to rhinitis, you might experience other symptoms of seasonal allergies, such as:
- Frequent sneezing.
- Post-nasal drip.
- Sore throat.
- Itchy red eyes.
- Itchy throat and/or ears.
You may also have a cough, feel irritable or experience fatigue – but these symptoms are much less common.
What Can I Do to Prevent Seasonal Allergies?
To prevent seasonal allergies, it’s important to limit your exposure to allergens as much as possible. There are many ways you can do this! A few tips include:
- Keeping your car windows closed.
- Wearing a dust mask when performing yard work.
- Staying inside when the weather forecast shows that air quality is low or that pollen count is high.
- Showering before bed to remove allergens from your skin and hair.
- Replacing your air filters routinely.
- Bathing your pets weekly.
- Making sure that pests and rodents are not entering your home.
I Have Seasonal Allergies. How Can I Treat Them?
If prevention is not working or if your symptoms are severe, it’s important to reach out to a health care provider for help. Health care providers can help you understand your symptoms and guide you toward the best treatment options. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Nasal rinses, which help remove and reduce allergens that are stuck inside your nose. Use sterile water or an over-the-counter saline nasal spray when doing a nasal rinse.
- Steroid nasal spray, which helps reduce swelling and stuffiness in your nose.
- Antihistamines, which are allergy medications that can help with itching and sneezing as well as with a runny nose.
- Antihistamine eye drops, which can help with itchy, gritty and watery eyes.
- Decongestants, which can help clear out congestion in your nose. If you have high blood pressure, you should not use decongestants.
Anytime you start a new medication or treatment, it’s important to talk with a health care provider first.
Do you need to speak with a health care provider for fast relief from seasonal allergy symptoms? InstaCare offers same-day face-to-face visits with health care providers. Visit InstaCareCheckIn.com to reserve your spot online!
About the Author
Elysa C. Graham, DNP, FNP-BC, is a certified family nurse practitioner at InstaCare.