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HomeExclusiveHow To Know If You Have Seasonal Allergies

How To Know If You Have Seasonal Allergies

Does Yale Medicine Offer Specialized Allergy Care

How do I know if I have seasonal allergies or a cold?

Yale Medicines Allergy & Clinical Immunology physicians have;;expertise in diagnosing and treating allergies and immunologic diseases. The department schedules weekly conferences to guide care of complex allergy cases, so patients benefit from multiple expert opinions.

In addition, we conduct research to determine the molecular basis of allergic disorders in order to develop new ways to treat people with allergies. Our;goal is to help you;better;enjoy the seasons as they turn by keeping the achoos in check.

Seasonal Allergies And Covid

More bad news: There’s a good chance that allergy sufferers will experience worse symptoms than in past years due to record high levels of pollen across the country, notes Dr. Dass. Extra time spent at home sprucing up your space or hanging with your pandemic pets might not help matters either, she adds. “People have had increased indoor allergenic exposure by adopting pets they may be allergic to or increased cleaning leading to subsequent dust mite exposure,” says Dr. Dass. Eek.

There’s also a good chance that this cold and flu season will be particularly rough, as more people return to in-person activities, such as school, work, and traveling. “We have had an increase in the number of cases of respiratory syncytial virus or RSV in the Midwest and Southern states,” says Dr. Dass. “While we had a record low flu season in 2020 due to social distancing, stay at home orders, and masks, this may increase dramatically with less masking, return to work, return to school, and increased travel.”

TL;DR Protecting yourself against all illnesses is especially important, which means getting both a COVID-19 booster shot when you’re eligible .” rel=”nofollow”>about eight monthsafter you’ve received your second dose of an mRNA vaccine) and a flu shot soon. “Because the flu may peak earlier this year, the CDC is recommending that anyone 6 months and older get the flu shot by the end of October,” says Dr. Dass.

You Notice A Seasonal Pattern

If youre the type of person who swears they get the same cold every March, it might be time to reconsider. If you notice its seasonal like clockwork, and every spring or fall you get these symptoms, it might be allergy-related, Dr. Parikh says.

That holds true even if your seasonal symptoms occur earlier than you might think of as allergy season, Dr. Rosenstreich says. In the Northeast, for example, most people are not aware of the fact that the trees begin to pollinate even when theres still snow on the ground. Depending on the weather, people can have allergy symptoms in February.

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When Is Allergy Season

Actually, there isnt just one allergy season. Instead, there are certain times during the year when allergy symptoms may be more severe, depending on what youre allergic to.

As for when allergy seasons start and stop, it depends on where you live. If you have indoor allergies, you could experience allergy symptoms year-round including in the winter. But generally, there are three seasons when outdoor allergens trigger annoying symptoms: Spring, summer and fall.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies

How to Tell Whether You Have a Cold or Allergies

When symptoms blossom in the spring, look to trees, grass and pollen as likely culprits. And if they flair up in the fall, pay attention to ragweed, another trigger. If youre sensitive to dust or mold, you may be bothered by symptoms year round.

Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center, discusses seasonal allergies and symptoms.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

What are seasonal allergies?

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Is It An Allergy Or Covid

When COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are circulating at the same time, every sniffle can lead you to worry that you might have the virus. From the perspective of a parent, one of the biggest issues is when kids in school have allergy symptoms that are poorly controlled, and then the school system sends them home or says they need a physicians note, Dr. Leeds says.

The CDC has a Venn diagram that shows symptoms the two conditions have in common. These include congestion, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat, and shortness of breath. But comparing the most common symptoms reveals clear differences. Seasonal allergies usually cause itchy or watery eyes and sneezing, while COVID-19 is characterized by fever and chills, muscle and body aches, new loss of taste and smell, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.

Because of COVID-19, people are afraid of you when youre sniffling, says Dr. Hsu. But it goes both waysa lot of people are sniffling and sneezing and coughing, and they are not getting tested for COVID-19, because they assume its allergies. And they are probably correct.

Often the distinction is clearpeople with allergies itch more, and they dont have the fatigue, malaise, and fever that comes with COVID-19.; But anyone who is concerned should call their doctor, she says.

Can A Baby Or Symptoms Of Toddler Have Seasonal Allergies

If you or your child has been suffering from seasonal allergies, it can be difficult to know when the symptoms will go away. Even worse is when a baby displays milder versions of these same symptoms. In this blog post well explore the topic in depth and try to answer any questions that might arise.

If spring or fall is in the air and your little one is suddenly sneezing up a storm or rubbing their eyes nonstop, theres a good chance they have seasonal allergies.

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How Are Seasonal Allergies Diagnosed

Identifying seasonal allergies can be difficult because both seasonal and environmental allergies can have similar symptoms explained Carvalho. Dogs with food allergies can have symptoms that manifest in the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract .

There are different ways that seasonal allergies can be diagnosed, according to PetMD. One common method is an intradermal skin test.

Very similar to allergy testing in humans, with this method, a small amount of test allergens are injected under your dogs skin. Allergens are then identified by which injections cause redness, swelling and hives.

Using those results, your vet can create a specialized serum or immunotherapy shot that can be administered by the vet or at home.

Your vet may recommend other ways to diagnose the cause of your dogs allergies depending upon their symptoms.

How To Avoid Pollen Exposure

Seasonal Allergies or Sinusitis? – SLUCare Health Watch

Unlike avoidance of pet dander and dust mites, it is more difficult to avoid exposure to pollen, since it is present in the outdoor air. Here are some tips to minimize pollen exposure:

  • Keep windows closed to prevent pollen from drifting into your home.
  • Minimize early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted between 5 and 10 a.m.
  • Keep your car windows closed when traveling.
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.
  • Take a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn and freshly cut grass.
  • Machine-dry bedding and clothing. Pollen may collect in the laundry if it is hung outside to dry.

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Ask For Allergy Shots

If antihistamines, nasal spray and staying inside arent controlling your symptoms, theres a more extreme measure you can take: getting allergy shots.

Like vaccines that protect you against viruses, there are shots that can prevent your body from reacting to pollen exposure. They treat the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms.

Unlike regular vaccines, however, you cant just get one allergy shot and call it good.

You have to come in regularly for shots for three to five years, its labor intensive and there are potential risks, Ayars explains.

Those risks range from mild things like redness at the injection site, to hives, to rare but serious things like anaphylactic shock.

Still, if youre someone who used to have mild sniffles during spring pollen season and now cant get through the day without antihistamines, it might be worth talking with your doctor about other treatments including allergy shots.;

Managing Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Testing is the first step to managing your seasonal allergy symptoms. Once you know whats causing your symptoms, you can work with your healthcare provider to determine the best way to avoid your triggers. Managing your symptoms may involve a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and/or immunotherapy.

Once you identify your triggers, you can minimize exposure to them by adopting a few simple practices. Here are some examples:4

  • Take allergy medicines 30 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, usually during the midmorning and early evening , and when its windy outside.
  • Remove work clothes outdoors after working outside and carry them in a bag to the washing machine. Even better, wear a microfiber facemask when working outside.;
  • Shower after being or working outside wash hair, eyes, and eyelashes.
  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning in your car and home. Make sure to keep your air conditioning unit clean.
  • Use high-efficiency particulate air filters for furnace and vacuum cleaners.

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Better Safe Than Sorry

At the end of the day, if you are unsure about your symptoms, then you should err on the side of caution.

If you aren’t feeling well, stay indoors and contact your health care provider. This is the best way to ensure that you aren’t contributing to the spread of coronavirus. You may also call the UMMS to discuss your symptoms. Only people with symptoms can get a doctor’s order to .

Even if you don’t have symptoms or your doctor confirms that you have allergies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing a to slow the spread of the disease.

UMMS provides our expert-reviewed content to keep our community informed. When sharing this copyrighted content, please link to our site so that critical updates are reflected.

In This Section:

Is It An Allergy Or Something Else

How to know whether you have seasonal allergies or a cold ...

If youre suffering from allergy-like symptoms, consider visiting your local CareNow®. The healthcare providers can treatment your symptoms and, if needed, recommend an allergy specialist.

Open after hours, on the weekend and most holidays, CareNow® physicians and nurses are well trained in urgent care services. We accept most insurance plans and offer Web Check-In® so you can avoid the waiting room.

Disclaimer: Patients health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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Are There Ways To Reduce Your Allergy Exposure

Here are several ways to minimize your exposure to seasonal allergies:

  • Pay attention to daily pollen and mold spore levels, so you can avoid outdoor activities as much as possible when counts are high. To check out the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunologys allergen tracker, .
  • Begin taking medications before the start of the allergy seasonwhen pollen, grass, ragweed, or mold counts soar.
  • Shut the windows and doors in your home, office, and car to seal out pollen.
  • Wear a hat when outdoors or wash your hair before bed to keep pollen off your pillow and away from your face.
  • Change your clothes after spending time outdoors to minimize your exposure to pollen. Studies show that half of the pollen that accumulates on clothing remains even if you try to shake or brush it off before you go indoors.
  • Avoid mowing the grass or raking moldy leaves if those are your triggers, or wear a mask when doing so.

How You Can Tell The Difference Between Cold And Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

With both allergies and colds, its typical to have congestion or a runny nose, and to sneeze often. You may also feel tired and drowsy. But there are several other symptoms that dont often overlap between allergies and a cold. Here are some of the telltale differences between cold symptoms and allergy symptoms.

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How To Tell The Difference Between Covid

Are you constantly sneezing and battling a scratchy throat? Before hitting the COVID-19 panic button, keep in mind that seasonal allergies could be to blame and there are a few ways to tell.

If you’ve woken up lately with a tickle in your throat or a congested feeling, there’s a chance you’ve asked yourself, “wait, is it allergies or COVID-19?” Sure it might not necessarily be stereotypical allergy season . But, with coronavirus cases on the rise nationwide due largely in part to the highly transmissible Delta variant, symptoms you may not have previously given any thought to might now feel like cause for concern.

But before you sound the alarm, know that while some COVID-19 and allergy symptoms do overlap, there are a few key differences that can help you figure out potential next steps.

What To Do For A Baby With Seasonal Allergies

How to tell if you have a cold, flu, or just allergies

If the blood test or skin prick test determines your baby does have allergies, the doctor might prescribe medication or suggest a treatment plan. Otherwise, you can take certain measures to prevent your baby from coming in contact with pollen.

Avoid going outdoors at peak pollen times, usually the middle of the day; instead, head outdoors in the early morning or late evening, and try not to go outdoors during windy days. If you do need to run errands with Baby during peak times, be sure to wash your hands and your babyâs hands after you come back inside to remove any pollen, or bathe your baby to wash away traces of pollen. Keep windows closed and air conditioners on in the warmer months.

Limit dust and pet dander at home by laundering sheets and towels in hot water, and avoid line-drying clothes, as pollen can stick to them. Vacuum floors and carpets at least once a week, and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which removes some allergens. These simple changes to your routine can help you and your baby enjoy the outdoors in all seasons.

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Seasonal Allergies: What You Need To Know

Pollen is an airborne substance that comes from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds. In the past 12 months, 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children under 18 were diagnosed with hay fever, the name given to allergic rhinitis caused by pollen. When someone has hay fever, their immune system identifies pollen as a threat and releases signals that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis .

The amount of pollen in the air depends on the season and the geographic area in which you live. The study reported in;PNAS;found the most pronounced effects in Texas and the Midwestern United States. However, the Northeast can have a significant spring allergy season as well, Dr. Leeds says. Tree allergies are especially common in New Englandparticularly due to birch and oak. Pollen allergies can also cause a cross-reaction with certain foods in some people; symptoms include an itchy or tingling mouth and throat after eating raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

People may also have allergic reactions to grass pollen in the late spring to early summer and weed pollen in the fall. Many people are multi-sensitized, so they are allergic to more than one type of pollen, and they can be symptomatic through all of the warm weather seasons, Dr. Leeds says. Pollen can be carried by the wind, so windy days are the worst.

How Do I Know If It’s Just Allergies

“Take your temperature. That’s probably a good first step, since coronavirus almost always includes a fever. If your temperature is normal, it is likely allergies,” says allergist an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

She adds, “Also, think about whether this happens to you every year. Come March and April, do you usually have itchy eyes and a runny nose?” If so, this may just be seasonal allergies acting up.

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How To Know If You Have Seasonal Allergies Or A Cold

As we move into colder months you may find yourself sneezing and sniffling a little bit more, but how do you know if you have allergies, or a cold or flu?

University of Alabama at Birmingham ear, nose and throat specialist Do-Yeon Cho, M.D. has outlined how to tell the difference so you can prevent and treat fall allergies effectively.

Know your symptoms

Runny nose, stuffy nose, and congestion are all crossover symptoms between allergies and the flu that can make it difficult to tell them apart, however flu symptoms tend to be more severe and can include headache, fatigue, general aches and pains, and a high fever that lasts three to four days.

Check how long symptoms last

Allergies also tend to last longer than a cold or the flu, with Cho explaining that, “Colds and flu rarely last beyond two weeks. Allergy symptoms usually last as long as you’re exposed to the allergen, which may be about six weeks during pollen seasons in the spring, summer or fall.”

Be aware of the causes

Every season brings different allergens, with Cho recommending a visit to an ENT or allergist for simple skin tests or blood work to find out what might be your triggers.

Take steps to prevent

Cho advises consulting with an ENT or allergist to come up with the most effective plan to avoid flare-ups.

Find an effective treatment

As allergies and treatments can vary from person to person, if over-the-counter medication is not working, consult with an EMT or allergy specialist.

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