Spring has sprung early this year, and if you’re prone to them, so have your spring allergies. Spring allergies usually occur when your immune system overreacts to an outdoor allergen, such as pollen. The most common allergens are pollen from wind-pollinated plants, such as trees, grasses, and weeds in the springtime. If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms.
This year, high pollen counts are putting asthmatics and allergy sufferers at risk for an allergic reaction. AFC Urgent Care Vernon is here to guide you this spring with information on how to tell the difference between spring allergies and COVID-19.
What Triggers Spring Allergies?
Triggers for spring allergies may vary, but for most people, it comes down to pollen and mold, which is why allergy-sufferers and asthmatics are often warned to stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen count days.
In fact, trees are responsible for most springtime allergies. Birch is one of the most common offenders in North America, where many people with seasonal allergies react to its pollen. Other allergenic trees in North America include cedar, alder, horse chestnut, willow, and poplar.
Are My Allergies COVID-19 related?
A question we’re often asked, and it’s understandable. Some of the COVID-19 symptoms overlap with seasonal allergies and even flu symptoms. Luckily we’re at the end of flu season, so the chances of it being flu are slim. On the other hand, COVID-19 still continues to be a threat and is highly contagious. 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.
If you ARE NOT experiencing a shortness of breath, below are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you are suffering from spring allergies:
- runny or stuffy nose
- watery and itchy eyes
- itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
- ear congestion
- postnasal drainage
In some more extreme cases, you may find yourself having an asthma attack due (shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness or pain) to severe spring allergies. If this is the case, seek medical attention asap.
Tips On How To Manage Spring allergies
Remember that unlike a cold, spring allergies may last a long period of time, and may only cease once the allergy trigger is removed. In the meantime, try to remove as many triggers as possible, and try an over the counter allergy med to relieve the symptoms temporarily. Here are a few tips on how to go about the process:
- Fix water leaks and clean up water damage that can help mold and pests flourish.
- Clean moldy surfaces and any places that mold may form, including humidifiers, swamp coolers, air conditioners, and refrigerators.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture.
- Wash your bedding in very hot water at least once a week.
- Cover your bedding and pillows with allergen-proof covers.
- go for an over-the-counter antihistamine (will relieve sneezing and congestion)
Should I still get tested for COVID-19 If I have allergy symptoms?
High pollen counts mean a lot of sneezing, touching your eyes, face and mouth. Even if you may think it’s just allergies, we highly suggest getting tested to rule out COVID-19.
AFC Urgent Care Vernon offers rapid antigen and rapid molecular testing. We also offer standard PCR COVID-19 testing 7 days a week with no appointment needed. Just walk-in!
If it’s not COVID-19, AFC Urgent Care can help with allergy treatment and treatment for asthma.
AFC Urgent Care Vernon can help with allergy treatment
If you find yourself suffering from allergies, or want to find out if you have them, AFC Urgent Care Vernon welcomes you with no appointment necessary, to our walk-in clinic. We are located at 179 Talcottville Rd, Vernon, CT 06066. We are also open 7 days a week Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday-Sunday 8am-5pm. We are staffed by licensed professionals, and we accept most insurances.
As mentioned earlier, we have COVID-19 testing options readily available on a walk-in basis too, no appointment ever needed!