Spring is here, and seasonal allergies are alive and well! For as many as 60 million people in the US, warmth and sunshine increase sneezing, congestion, itchy and watery eyes, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Seasonal allergies, also known as “hay fever” or allergic rhinitis, can make sufferers miserable. While allergies are typically treatable and even preventable, they can cause medical concern if not properly managed.
But before you resort to staying inside all spring and summer, consider these strategies to keep allergies under control.
Control your allergen exposure when possible.
If you suspect you have allergies but aren’t entirely sure, consider allergy testing to confirm. Once you have identified your allergens, try to avoid possible triggers like sitting in the grass, breathing in pollen early in the morning, or keeping windows open at night. Of course, they are tougher to avoid if you are allergic to several common allergens.
Consider some of these methods to limit your allergen exposure:
- Avoid mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, planting flowers, or other gardening activities that could cause allergic reactions. If you must do outside chores, try wearing a face mask to limit your allergic response.
- Stay inside during dry, windy days, as allergens tend to blow around and can worsen response.
- Once you’ve identified your allergies, check your local weather for current pollen levels and forecasts. If pollen is expected to be high, try to take your allergy medications before experiencing symptoms.
- Close doors and windows, especially when pollen counts are high or expected to be high.
- Keep your indoor air clean using high-efficiency filters or dehumidifiers to keep the air dry.
Treating Allergies: When to Seek Urgent Care
Many nonprescription medications, including oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, and rinses, can alleviate allergy symptoms. While most people can manage these symptoms with over-the-counter medications, there may be cases where medical attention is necessary.
Urgent Care Centers can provide allergy treatment, prescriptions, and recommendations for over-the-counter medications. Consider visiting your local urgent care if you’re experiencing concerning or nagging symptoms:
If you experience alarming symptoms, such as labored breathing or wheezing, seek immediate care. These symptoms could point to a more serious allergic reaction like anaphylactic shock or severe asthma, both of which require immediate medical attention.
Ongoing, persistent symptoms
If you use over-the-counter medications or home remedies with no improvement, it may be time to seek medical attention. A medical professional may prescribe you medications or other treatments to control symptoms if appropriate. Ongoing or worsening symptoms may also cause secondary infections, such as sinus, ear, or throat infections, which likely require additional treatment.
Pre-existing health conditions
If you have pre-existing health conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), spring allergies may exacerbate those symptoms. If any of your existing symptoms worsen, seek immediate medical attention.
How We Can Help
If you’re experiencing any of the above non-emergency illnesses or conditions and can’t wait for your doctor, visit Lincoln Urgent Care or Granite Bay Urgent Care for testing, diagnosing, and treatment options. You can also book a telemedicine appointment or call either facility for an appointment: