Spring Is Here 5 Things Allergy Sufferers Need To Know
Due to global climate changes, allergists warn that spring allergy season continues to worsen each year. Dr. Jigisha Morosky, an allergist/immunologist with Starling Physicians, addresses the most common questions about seasonal allergies.
How do you know if it is a cold, allergy or COVID?
Sometimes it is difficult for people to determine if sniffles, sneezes, sore throat and coughs are caused by allergies, a cold or even sinusitis. Dr. Morosky explains that nasal allergy symptoms and common cold symptoms are essentially identical. Variables we examine are exposure to an allergen, like pollen or a pet, the duration of symptoms months versus 1 to 2 weeks, and if there is improvement while taking allergy medications.
Spring allergies can cause itchy water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing and even hives. The symptoms of a cold are often characterized by runny nose, sore throat and cough. Patients with severe seasonal allergies can feel very fatigued and have low grade fever making the distinction even harder.
Acute sinusitis is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose accompanied by pain in the forehead and/or over the cheeks. Often both the common cold and allergies can cause swelling of the nasal passages, which prevent the sinuses from draining, then this can lead to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, however it often recurs if due to uncontrolled allergies.
What are best over the counter methods to treat allergies?
Are There Home Remedies To Help With Cough
There are several home remedies you can try which may help with easing your persistent cough.
A warm drink of honey and lemon can reduce the irritation at the back of your throat and ease your cough, even if only temporarily. The lemon acts as a disinfectant to prevent any infections from developing or worsening your conditionKeeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important. This will not only help to prevent your throat from becoming dry or irritated, but also flush out any pollen which has lodged in your throat and paletteAvoid dry or smoky atmospheres, and if possible, avoid going outside at times when the pollen count is high.
Why Do We Cough
Coughing is basically a response to irritation in your throat or airways. When you feel this irritation your receptors of the trachea, throat, and lungs quickly alert the cough center of your brain. Coughing is a defense mechanism against anything it might think has gotten stuck in your throat, trachea, or lungs. Things like pollen, mucus so can make way for air to easily travel through.
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An Introduction To Cough And Seasonal Allergies
A persistent cough can be one of the most irritating symptoms of seasonal allergies, particularly if it is persistent. These coughs are usually dry and caused by pollen irritating the back of the throat or air passages, triggering the natural body reaction of coughing to clear the irritant.
Coughs associated with seasonal allergies may also be caused by what is known as the postnasal drip. When pollen irritates the nasal passages, excessive fluid is produced by the inflamed membranes. This builds up and drops down the throat, irritating it, giving rise to a dry cough.
How Can I Tell If My Cough Is Allergies
While allergies can be life threatening, your typical seasonal allergies come and go with minor annoyance without being a threat to anyone else. But COVID-19 is a whole other story. The virus can spread easily and can be dangerous to specific at-risk populations.
The differences can be subtle. While they all have similar symptoms, how those symptoms are experienced can usually tip you off, Dr. Kocur said.
|· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing|
|· Vomiting||· Sore throat|
COVID-19 will typically be severe for a few days, including multiple symptoms, Dr. Kocur said. With seasonal allergies, the symptoms tend to remain consistent for several weeks or as long as you are exposed to the irritant.
Dr. Kocur said you can usually track your seasonal allergies from year to year as pollen or other irritants are released into the air. However, it is possible to develop a new allergy or encounter a new allergen at any age or time.
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Can Allergies Cause A Cough With Mucus
Indeed they can. When the nasal passages are irritated by allergies, the inflamed membranes of the nasal passages may create an excess of fluid. Once this fluid builds up, it begins to fall down the back of the throat, causing a condition called post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip irritates the back of the throat which, in turn, causes a cough with mucus.
Other symptoms of coughing include:
- Sore throat
- Fractured ribs
- Coughing up blood
Allergic Cough Treatments And Remedies
There are several remedies as well as treatments available OTC for allergic cough.
The first thing to do is to understand what substance is causing the allergy. Seasonal allergies are commonly triggered by grass pollen, ragweed pollen, spores from molds and fungi, and tree pollen. Year-round allergies are commonly triggered by dust, mites, pet hair or dander, and mold. Your doctor may order a Skin Prick Test or a Specific IgE Blood Test to find out what youre allergic to.
Once the allergen is known, you should avoid it. You may want to keep the windows closed during allergy season both at home and in your car, take a shower and change your clothes after spending time outdoor, and get an air purifier or making sure your air conditioning system has a clean filter. Face masks with filters are also an option when being outdoors. You can also check your local pollen counts online and avoid going out during peaks.
Other remedies for allergic cough are:
Ask your physician for a proper recommendation on the right treatment for your allergic cough.
- Allergy and Asthma The Basics to Best PracticesM Mahmoudi Springer, 2019
- Pediatric Allergy Principles and Practice, 3rd Ed.DYM Leung, SJ Szefler, FA Bonilla Elsevier, 2016
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So How Can You Tell If Your Cough Is Due To Allergies
First, evaluate the typeof cough you have. Allergies can cause a dry cough or wet cough , Dr. Bassett says, but post-nasal drip typically leads to a dry cough. The AAAI also points to a chronicdry coughmeaning it has lasted for more than three weeksas a sign of allergies.
You can also determine the difference by looking at the bigger picture and seeing what other symptoms are present, Dr. Bassett says. Seasonal allergies often present with an itchy nose, throat, and eyes, which is pretty uncommon with respiratory illnesses.
- How did your coughing start? Colds tend to come on slowly, while allergies kick in as soon as youve been exposed to an allergen.
- Are you itchy? Itchingespecially in your nose, eyes, or throatis a classic sign of allergies.
- Do you have a fever or body aches? Respiratory illnesses can cause both, but allergies dont.
- How long have your symptoms lasted? If your symptoms stick around for weeks or even months, allergies are probably to blame.
Does Covid Make You Sneeze
Its one of the most common and unanswered questions because it worries most people especially those who attend public gatherings or travel a lot. Remember, sneezing alone is quite a normal and healthy activity of our body. If you are worried and thinking about is sneezing symptom of COVID 19, then you need to understand few things first before reaching any final diagnosis. If you are also having some other symptoms along with sneezing such as cough, runny nose, headache, or shortness of breath, then you can think about COVID 19. There is no need to panic or put your mind in excessive worries because the chances of having COVID 19 while having sneezing is very less as compared to other conditions such as allergy, asthma, or flu.
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Can Allergies Cause Fever
The short answer is allergies dont cause fever. But, allergy symptoms can make you more vulnerable to a viral or bacterial infection, which can lead to a fever. So, its common to blame a fever on your allergies, even though technically that isnt the cause.
Allergies are caused when your immune system overreacts to common things in the environment such as tree and grass pollen of common dust mites in your home. The typical allergy symptoms most people experience include:
- Diarrhea or nausea are common if you have food allergies
- Headache or sinus pain
- Wheezing or asthma
If you have a fever, body aches, and a sore throat, its likely caused by a viral infection from a cold or flu.
Prevention Tips For Allergic Cough
Priyanka was advised the following tips to limit exposure to allergens and prevent allergic coughs:
- Avoid the triggering factor as much as possible.
- Wear a mask preferably, N-95 or N-99 masks in pollen-heavy seasons. This will help filter pollen and prevent its entry into your respiratory system.
- Clean your surrounding areas with a wet cloth or mop. This will ensure that the dust mites dont settle around you.
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Allergy Sore Throat Treatment
So, you have a sore throat, cough, runny nose and congestion. Have you caught a common cold or do you have allergy symptoms? Sometimes, it is even difficult for doctors to distinguish between the two, because their symptoms can be so similar. If you have persistent throat discomfort accompanied by other allergy symptoms, consider that you may have a sore throat due to allergies.
How Can You Tell That You Have An Allergy Cough
In order to tell whether you have an allergy cough, its important to check what type is it. Allergies trigger a dry or wet cough even though after nasal dripping, theres usually a dry cough. There is also a third kind of cough which is the chronic cough that lasts at least 3 weeks. This is a major sign of an allergy. A cold cough never lasts more than 14 days so if your coughing exceeds this number, you definitely have an allergy cough. Another thing that sets it apart from a cold is the fever. If you have no fever then you definitely have been exposed to an allergen thats caused this coughing symptom.
If youre still confused about it then you should ask yourself questions like when did you start coughing? Do you feel any fever or aches in your body? How long have you been coughing? All of these will bring everything into perspective for you.
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What Should Be The Treatment For Allergic Cough
The treatment for allergic cough depends on the root cause behind the allergic reactions.
Priyanka wanted to know, How to get rid of a cough from allergies?
Dr Mayank emphasises, The only way to get rid of allergic cough is to identify the allergy
Your doctor may advise skin test or blood tests to identify the allergy you have. If needed, a lung-function test, chest x-ray or bronchoscopy may also be required to rule out other causes of persistent cough.
The best way to treat or limit allergic cough is to avoid the allergy-triggering factor.
Priyanka was advised a skin test to figure out the cause behind allergic cough. According to her test results, she was allergic to pollens as she had suspected.
People with allergic cough may require long-term maintenance therapy with an anti-inflammatory agent. Besides this, the right protection from allergy-triggering element is also very helpful.
In rare cases where anti-allergy medicines arent as helpful, steroids may be advised.
Cough: Allergies Or Covid
A cough can cause anxiety these days. It can be easy to start you thinking the worst. And you only need to clear your throat in the grocery store to draw the attention of other patrons. But a cough is not always an illness.
Yes, allergies can also cause coughing. Along with the typical sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and hives, allergens, especially hay fever allergens, can irritate the throat and lungs and cause us to cough. The allergen causes a post-nasal drip that travels down your throat, causing irritation that can lead to a persistent dry cough. Its still something you should have checked out because a cough could also be a symptom of asthma.
Allergies occur when the body sees a harmless substance, such as pollen or cat dander, as a threat, said Robert Kocur, MD, allergist with OSF HealthCare. In response, the immune system builds antibodies to fight off the threatening substance.
Allergies are some of the most common chronic health conditions in the world and can affect anyone. Generally, allergies are more common in children but can happen at any age. Allergies may also go away and can come back after years of remission.
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What Can You Do
Drink warm lemon and honey this is a tried and tested cough remedy for good reason as the warm liquid helps to soothe the throat and rid it of irritation.
Help out your immune system the immune system is put under a great deal of strain when its busy fighting off allergens so its a good idea to help it out as best you can. You may want to take some Echinaforce Echinacea Drops for example, which support the immune system.
Stay hydrated water helps to wash out any allergens that are lurking in the throat and which are therefore causing a cough. However, it also stops your throat from getting dry and irritated which would worsen a cough.
Joint Pain And Allergies
You may not be aware of this, but allergies can also manifest with chronic joint pain.
Dr. Mark T. OHollaren from Oregon Science University explains allergens are responsible for joint pain because they stimulate the immune system and cause inflammation.
Fatigue is also associated with allergies, and fatigue also goes hand in hand with achy muscles and joints.
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Allergies Causing A Cough Headache And Joint Pain
There are many different symptoms that appear when someone experiences an allergic reaction. The main symptoms we are familiar with include congestion of the nose, itchy skin or nose, and watering eyes.
Depending on the types of allergies, one may have a headache, cough, or joint pain. A headache and cough often appear during the spring, summer, and fall due to seasonal allergies. Joint pain is caused by inflammation from the immune system reacting to an allergen.
Allergies can be a tricky thing as they range from mild to severe reactions. The more you read and learn about them, the better youll be able to manage them.
Natural Home Cough Remedies
If youd like to avoid taking medication, you can try the following natural remedies:
WaterStaying hydrated by drinking plenty of water helps thin the mucus that might be causing your cough.
Honeyis a go-to remedy for soothing sore throats and can decrease the frequency and severity of coughs. You can keep it simple and swallow a spoonful of honey on its own to coat your throat, or try two teaspoons in a cup of tea or warm water.
Gargling with salt watercan help with pain and offer temporary relief. Add a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water and gargle over a sink.
Cough dropsoffer a quick and easy way to keep coughing under control by moistening your throat.Cough dropscome in many flavors and can ease that scratchy feeling that sets off a dry cough.
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Persistent Cough: Is It Covid
Due to the current pandemic, some may wonder whether their cough is simply a seasonal allergy or a symptom of coronavirus disease 2019 . According to the CDC, the following are the symptoms of coronavirus which appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Fever or chills
- Nausea or vomiting
Some of these symptoms clearly differentiate between COVID and allergies, such as fever which is the main symptom, loss of taste and smell, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms may range from mild to severe and you may only experience some of those.
COVID-19 does not respond to allergy medications, so if you feel better after taking your usual allergy treatment you likely dont have an infection.
If you have some of the above symptoms dont panic, it could also be another type of infection unrelated to the outbreak.
Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath are also common with asthma that can worsen during allergy season.
Symptoms should always be looked at critically, logically and as a whole, so calling your GP for a consult is always a good choice.
Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure to the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, are all emergency warning signs according to the CDC so if you or someone you know is experiencing such symptoms call the medical emergency number. The list does not cover all possible symptoms so for any severe or concerning symptom you should call your medical provider.
Can Whooping Cough Be Prevented
The good news is there is a whooping cough shot that can prevent severe illness. The diphtheria tetanus pertussis vaccine is available at all ages, beginning at 2 months. As the name suggests, it not only protects against pertussis, but also diphtheria and tetanus.
While many people think mostly of vaccines in children, the whooping cough vaccine in adults should be given with each pregnancy. Every adult should receive a single booster after 11 years of age. Every adult also needs a tetanus booster every 10 years and this can be either just a tetanus booster or Tdap to be a pertussis booster also.
These recommendations are different for those that were not vaccinated in childhood. The purpose of the booster is to provide ongoing protection against whooping cough throughout adulthood and lessen risks to infants too young to be vaccinated.
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