Spring Is In The Air And So Are Spring Allergies!

March 14, 2022

Man sneezes, suffering from allergies, Spring Is In The Air And So Are Spring Allergies! AFC Urgent Care Saugus Offers Spring Allergy Treatment

Are you sneezing and wheezing more often lately? The winter cold, flu and COVID-19 wave that ravaged the country was a doozy. Now, we are enjoying longer days, more sunshine and nature’s reproduction cycle at work. Which is to say, pollen season is upon us. Just look outside.

Cooler states like Massachusetts started to see plants release pollen in February and March. Trees are also now producing allergens and by early summer, grasses will be kicking pollen into the air and into people’s airways.

Sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy red eyes, nose and throat that linger are tell-tale signs of a pollen allergy and in some cases, it can trigger asthma and wheezing. But, is your sneezing and wheezing from allergies or is it another wave of COVID-19? 

Let’s find out together.

Spring Allergy Season Begins!

Plants, and especially grasses, throw off literally billions of pollen particles into the air which inevitably settle into people’s noses and mouths. That’s where the battle begins.

Pollen isn’t looking to start a fight. It’s actually harmless. But our bodies see those particles as a threat and immediately summon antibodies, called histamines, to come to our defense. The result? An increase in blood flow and inflammation. The histamine signals your brain to sneeze to try and get rid of the pollen. Your membranes start to make more mucus leaving you with a runny or stuffy nose. The mucus also runs down your throat and makes you cough. Those histamines, which is just your immune system trying to protect you, can also cause your eyes and nose to itch.

But, What About COVID-19? Some Symptoms Overlap

COVID-19 does come with respiratory symptoms like allergies do. However, we’ve started to see cases of COVID-19 wane in the Saugus, MA area. Many of us are also keeping our masks on, getting booster shots for COVID-19, getting tested more often and are washing our hands throughout the day.

Allergies may make you feel tired, but they're not going to cause severe muscle or joint ache like COVID-19. Unlike allergies that affect the eye and the nose, COVID-19 affects the whole body. It is highly contagious, as we know, but a nasty case of either of the two may get worse before getting better. Although symptoms overlap, the main symptoms to look out for with COVID-19 is a shortness of breath, a dry cough, fever, and/or difficulty breathing, as this can be fatal to high risk individuals like the elderly, immuno-compromissed folks, asthmatics, or young children.


 

Allergy symptoms on the other hand are regularly occurring, and usually mild. But, they are treatable! This is a huge difference. 

Your best bet is to get tested for COVID-19 to rule this out. AFC Urgent Care Saugus offers rapid antigen and rapid molecular testing 7 days a week with no appointment needed.

How To Manage Your Allergies?

Antihistamines. It’s no surprise the first line of treatment for most people is an antihistamine which reduces or blocks histamines and the symptoms they produce. These can be tablets, liquids, sprays or drops. They work best if they stay in your system.

Neti Pot. The warm salt water rinse can help clear your nasal passages of excess mucus and allergens like pollen.

Avoid outdoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. This is when pollen counts are usually highest but even low-count pollen days can trigger allergies if the wind is blowing.

Take a nightly shower. During allergy season, washing the pollen out of your hair at night will keep it off your pillow and your airways.

When to See a Doctor For Allergies

Untreated seasonal allergies can lead to other problems like asthma. If you’re concerned about your allergies or allergy induced asthma, AFC Urgent Care Saugus can help you find relief. We are open seven days a week and offer extended hours, making us your convenient stop for health care!

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