Spring is right around the corner and so are the allergies that it brings. Are sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose your biggest nightmare during the spring months? Are you one of those people for whom this season means constant fatigue, headaches, and an inability to fully enjoy your life?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 million adults and 6 million children experience seasonal or spring allergies every year. If you are one of them, you must have experienced the following signs and symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Mouth or throat itchiness
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
Spring allergies may worsen the symptoms experienced by patients with respiratory diseases like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
For these reasons, it is essential to know the common causes and sources of allergens in your environment. Knowing the allergens is the first step to finding out how to prevent an allergy episode.
Common sources of spring allergens
Allergens are antigens that trigger the body to create an immune response. Although they are otherwise harmless, the immune system interprets allergens as potential threats and tries to fight them off by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.
During spring, trees and plants release pollen. Pollens are fine powdery substances essential for reproduction. Because pollen is lightweight, it is easily dispersed in the wind. It is one of the most common spring allergens when breathed in.
In the U.S., the following plants and trees are common sources of pollens that may cause allergic rhinitis:
|Species of plants or trees||When it peaks||Where it grows|
|Mountain Cedar||December to March||Rocky and dry soil in the Southwestern United States|
|Eastern Red Cedar||February to April||Moist soil in the East Coast and in the Midwest|
|Oak||February to May||Throughout the United States|
|Elm||February to April||The Eastern and the Central United States|
|Red Alder||February to April||Cool and moist places in the Western United States|
|Sweet Vernal Grass||April to July||Throughout the United States|
Aside from pollen, mold spores are also common allergens starting in the spring season all through autumn.
4 surefire ways to beat spring allergies
At RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, we help dozens of people throughout the year with fast and effective allergy relief. If you are like 30% of adults in the US and struggle with seasonal allergies, you may find our today’s article helpful. We’re sharing 4 tips on how to beat spring allergies.
Take your medication regularly
This is the No. 1 piece of advice for you: Never forget to take your medicine. Allergy drugs bring relief in less than an hour by blocking your body’s response to the allergens. They will ease your sneezing, runny nose, and cough to a great extent. In some cases, you may also use a nasal spray; however, its downside is that it doesn’t start working right away. It may take up to several days to see its effects.
A corollary piece of advice: Never take more than the recommended dose to avoid nosebleeds and dryness. If your symptoms are severe, you may ultimately be prescribed allergy shots. They include a tiny amount of pollen which, once injected, will trigger your body to build up pollen resistance. Sometimes, it takes time to find the best medicine that will work for you; that’s why we recommend visiting RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, where we will help you out.
Limit your time outside
In spring, trees will inevitably release tons of pollen. It can be hard to spot it in the air, yet it’s so easy to breathe it in, which results in an allergic reaction in your body. Limiting your exposure to the irritant is a good way of avoiding getting teary eyes, an itchy nose, and any other symptoms you usually experience.
You must be wondering whether it means that you have to lock yourself in the house for the entire spring. The good news is that you don’t have to take such extreme measures. The pollen counts vary depending on the time of the day.
At RiteCare, we usually recommended our patients stay home in the early morning hours when pollen counts are the highest. If you have to leave, bring a pair of sunglasses as a precaution to protect your eyes. When you come back, even from a brisk or short walk, you should jump in the shower immediately to wash away all the pollen on your skin and in your hair.
Implement these changes around your house
You may not believe it, but making small changes in your house is significant. Make sure that the inside is thoroughly clean and free from as many allergens as possible.
- Vacuum a few times per week (it’s important to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter so as not to shoot the sucked-up allergens back into the air)
- Use a damp cloth when cleaning
- Don’t use any scented cleaners and detergents that may trigger your symptoms
- Don’t air-dry your laundry as it may pick up pollen
- Wash your sheets weekly
- Wear a mask when tidying the house
Additionally, to keep the pollen out of your house, don’t open the windows when you need to cool the place down. Instead, switch on the air-conditioning, and clean the filter regularly. Using a window fan isn’t a good idea, either, as once you turn it on, it will suck the pollen inside. Last but not least, don’t smoke, as it will definitely aggravate your allergy symptoms. If you have visitors who smoke, ask them politely to have a cigarette outside.
Use natural remedies
We often suggest our patients try natural remedies. Incorporating probiotic-rich foods in your diet supports the immune system. Try having more green leafy vegetables, as well, as they are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that help reduce inflammation. Take a hot shower rather than a cool one; besides having relaxing properties, the steam will clear your sinuses.
Additionally, the use of neti pots will help clear your nasal passages by flushing out the mucus. You can try pouring several drops of eucalyptus oil into your neti pot for an extra effect or inhale the oil through a diffuser. These are just a few examples of natural remedies that you can try in your fight with seasonal allergies. If you’re in the Miami-Dade area, swing by Ritecare Medical center in Hialeah, where we will be happy to give you even more ideas on what you can do to beat your allergies!
How is spring allergy diagnosed?
Because seasonal allergies are self-evident, patients often already know that they are suffering from it even without diagnostic testing. However, if the allergic reaction is severe and doesn’t get better with treatment, we urge you to visit Ritecare walk-in clinic in Hialeah. Our doctor will check if some other causes or factors contribute to your symptoms, most especially if you are having severe breathing difficulty.
Spring allergy vs COVID-19
It’s allergy season again, and the coronavirus pandemic is still far from over. Because both of these diseases are respiratory in nature, you might find it difficult to tell them apart. One way to do so is by observing your signs and symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of spring allergy are:
- Runny nose
- Dry cough
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Nasal congestion
On the other hand, the most common signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Dry cough
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
Allergy is caused by an allergen, which triggers an inflammatory response in the respiratory tract, while COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some signs and symptoms of these two may overlap. It is also possible for a patient to suffer from both spring allergies and COVID-19 at the same time.
A severe allergic reaction may lead to shortness of breath and chest tightness, which are also symptoms of severe COVID-19 infection along with:
- Loss of appetite
- High-grade fever
If your respiratory symptoms come with a fever, call your doctor right away. You can also avail of coronavirus testing in Hialeah to rule out COVID-19.
Do you suffer from allergies? Visit RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah!
If you are an allergy victim, don’t wait until your symptoms get worse! At RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, we will provide you with the care that you need as well as find an allergy treatment tailored just for you.
We value our patients’ time, so we’re open after business hours, 7 days per week!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.