What Are Some Common Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
When your body is responding to an allergen, it lets you know. According to the mucus
Sometimes these symptoms can feel like a cold or another respiratory infection like COVID-19. If youre not quite sure what youre dealing with, pay close attention to other symptoms that might be surfacing. A cold or flu-like infection may also cause additional warning signs such as fever, chills, and body aches, Ratika Gupta, MD, an allergist and immunologist with New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, tells SELF. Allergies should not cause any of those things, Dr. Gupta says.
Whats more, seasonal allergy symptoms tend to last longer, according to the National Library of Medicine . If youre unsure about whats going on and youve had symptoms for longer than a week, scheduling an appointment with your doctor can help you figure out whats driving your discomfort.
Use With Contact Lenses
Speaking of contacts, its important to make sure the eye drops are safe for use with your lenses.
Most eye drop instructions recommend waiting 10 to 15 minutes before putting in your contacts, says Dr. Dass, who emphasizes the importance of reading the instructions that come with your brand of eye drops .
A Criteria For Inclusion/exclusion Of Studies In The Review
Selection criteria were developed with input from the expert clinicians and stakeholders of the Technical Expert Panel.
Key Question 1Comparative Effectiveness of Treatments in Adults 12 Years of Age or Older
The focus of this review is the comparison of effectiveness across six pharmacologic classes of treatments for SAR and nasal saline. Antihistamines are further classified into nonselective and selective subclasses, as shown in Table 1.
|*Oral corticosteroids are not reviewed in this report.
Within a pharmacologic class, previous comparative effectiveness reviews have found insufficient evidence to support superior effectiveness of any single drug.3,28,35,38-44 Thus, the focus of the review is across-class treatment comparisons. Within-class comparisons are made when multiple routes of administration are available for a single drug class . Expert guidance was sought to identify drug class comparisons that are most relevant for treatment decisionmaking. The checked boxes in Table 2 indicate the treatment comparisons identified. Reasons most often cited for not including a specific comparison were differential efficacy for specific SAR symptoms and noncomparable indications .
- One of the following designs:
- Controlled clinical trials
- Case-control studies
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How Do You Treat Seasonal Allergies
In combination with taking steps to limit your childs exposure to allergy triggers, there are many safe, effective allergy medicines that target specific symptoms your child is struggling with the most.
Most allergy medications are now over-the-counter and generally fall into the categories of oral antihistamines, nose sprays and eye drops. Below are some key things to know about each type. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician or nurse practitioner about the best options for your child.
Important note: Read labels carefully for the active ingredient and do not give your child more than one oral antihistamine at a time unless under the direction of a healthcare provider. However, most eye drops and nose sprays can be given together along with an oral antihistamine.
Natural Remedies For Allergies
Resolving seasonal allergies may just be a matter of finding and addressing the root cause. Its about getting a deeper level of understanding of why youre having an allergic response and then taking steps to decrease or reverse symptoms, explains Dr. Young.
But if youre not sure of the cause be it tree pollen, ragweed, mold or dust, etc. what can you do to tamp down the sniffling, sneezing and wheezing that come when seasonal allergy triggers spike? Here are eight ideas you can try.
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When To See Your Doctor:
If symptoms dont improve after a few days of OTC treatment, talk to your doctor about prescription antihistamine and anti-inflammatory nasal sprays, said Mantione.
See your doctor right away if you have more symptoms, such as wheezing, to rule out asthma, or if you have thick, green nasal discharge, which could be a sinus infection. You should also ask your doctor about allergy testing and allergy shots, which gradually desensitize you to allergens.
This story published in April 2013, and a version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.
What Seasonal Allergy Management Approaches Are Available
In addition to antihistamines, seasonal allergies can be managed with other types of medications.
- Leukotriene modifiers treat seasonal allergic rhinitis. They are designed to block leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are the chemical involved in inflammation and swelling of the airways. The medication helps relieve both nasal congestion and swollen nasal passages.
- Mast cell stabilizers prevent the release of histamine that causes inflammation. They can ease symptoms such as runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, postnasal drip and itchy eyes.
- Anticholinergics treat seasonal allergic rhinitis and relieve nasal symptoms. They help by minimizing the formation of mucus.
- Nasal corticosteroid sprays prevent and soothe inflammation in nasal tissues and airways. They are available over-the-counter and by prescription.
- Allergen immunotherapy helps build a patients tolerance to allergens. It also can help reduce or eliminate symptoms. In allergen immunotherapy, the patient is given a gradually increasing dose of the allergen. This is done on a regular schedule, until a maintenance level is reached.
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When Do Seasonal Allergies Appear
Seasonal allergies are often associated with the springtime, but they can appear in any season depending on the pollen an individual is allergic to.
Common allergens and when they crop up include:
- Tree pollen, which typically appears in spring
- Grass pollen, which appears in late spring and summer
- Mold spores, which often trigger seasonal allergies in the spring, summer and fall
- Ragweed pollen, which appears in the fall
Some folks may experience seasonal allergies year-round if they are allergic to something in each season.
Fight Your Toughest Allergies
Avoiding Exposure To Allergens
The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to, although this is not always practical.
For example, you may be able to help manage:
- food allergies by being careful about what you eat
- animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly
- mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
- hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
- dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets
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Talk With Your Doctor About Seasonal Allergy Testing Or Allergy Shots
Allergy testing can help your care provider diagnose your exact allergies and come up with a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.
Allergy tests are pretty simple. The tests are performed on your skin at a clinic that offers allergy testing. This determines what allergens are causing your symptoms.
Depending on how severe your allergies appear to be, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy with allergy shots to help reduce and maybe even eliminate your bodys reaction to environmental allergens.
These shots help teach your body to not be allergic and are given over the course of a couple of years until a target dose is reached. Once the right dosage has been reached, your doctor will work with you on a maintenance schedule.
Allergy shots are the most effective way of treating allergies and work better than most prescription medications. A course of allergy shots can give you long-term symptom relief that could last for 5-10 years. Many people have symptom relief the rest of their life. You can discuss the cost of allergy shots with your insurance provider.
Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.
Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.
2. Local Raw Honey
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Neti Pot
6. Stinging Nettle
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Watch Out For Natural Allergy Remedies
Neti pots and nasal rinse squeeze bottles can provide relief if youre looking for medicine-free ways to treat your allergies. Most of these methods just involve flushing out your nasal cavity with salt water, and theyre fairly safe when used correctly. Just be sure to use distilled water with them to avoid infection, and dont use cold water unless you enjoy brain freeze.
If you have tree pollen or plant allergies, though, steer clear of any alleged herbal remedies. I dont recommend anything herbal, Dr. Eidelman says. They can actually make things worse.
For example, people who are allergic to ragweed sometimes have serious allergic reactions to echinacea, a common immune stimulant. This herbal product comes from the purple coneflower a close relative of ragweed.
With that example in mind, Dr. Eidelman offers a final warning about herbal remedies: Keep in mind that just because somethings natural, it doesnt mean that youre not going to be allergic to it.
Risks And Side Effects
While most of the supplements and tips described above can provide natural allergy relief safely, there are some precautions to keep in mind.
When allergies are mild or moderate, they are usually not very threatening and go away with time. However, severe allergic reactions can be dangerous and require medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is the term for a severe allergic reaction, which can happen due to contact with food allergens, drugs/medications or insect stings. Symptoms usually affect the lungs, blood vessels or heart and can include:
- trouble breathing
If you or your child experience these symptoms, head to your doctor or the emergency room right away to prevent complications.
What can you do for severe allergies? Your doctor may need to prescribe allergy shots or prescription asthma medications, such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
Discuss these options with your health care provider, and consider trying the natural allergy relief remedies described above in addition to using medications.
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Can Spring Allergies Be Prevented
If you have mild allergies, you may tend to just grin and bear it. But if your allergies are more intense, they can really interfere with your life.
Dr. Eidelman recommends starting a topical nasal steroid spray one or two weeks before the start of allergy season. These sprays can prevent inflammation in your nose and block some of your worst symptoms before they begin.
To get the most benefit, though, start using them before allergy season even starts so itll be effective by the time the pollen starts flying. And use them daily until the season ends.
D Assessment Of Methodological Quality Of Individual Studies
In adherence with the AHRQ Methods Guide,47 criteria of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force48 will be applied to assess the quality of individual RCTs and cohort studies. The quality of abstracted studies will be assessed by two independent reviewers. Ratings of good, fair, and poor will be assigned . Other included observational studies will be assessed based on a selection of items proposed by Deeks and colleagues49 to inform the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force approach. Discordant quality assessments will be resolved with input from a third reviewer, if necessary.
Quality of incorporated systematic reviews and meta-analyses will be assessed by two independent reviewers with tools recommended in the AHRQ Methods Guide .46
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How Do You Know If You Have Seasonal Allergies
If you experience allergy symptoms at only certain times of the year, then you may have a seasonal allergy.
The only way to know for sure if you have a specific allergy is to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can conduct allergy testing to confirm a diagnosis. Testing may include a skin test or a blood test.
A skin test is the most common type of allergy test. This is done by applying a small amount of diluted allergen to the skin. Then you wait 15 minutes to see if a raised, itchy, red bump appears. If it does, then you have an allergy to that particular allergen.
Treating Seasonal Allergies In Children
Alisa Baer, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician, nationally certified child passenger safety instructor, and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady. In her 21 years in the field, Dr. Baer has consulted with many of the leading car seat manufacturers in the design and development of their car seats.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about 7% of children experience seasonal allergies. While there are many over-the-counter medications available to treat symptoms of allergic rhinitis , there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is especially true when it comes to younger children.
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Can Allergies Make You Sick
Severe allergies or allergies left unmanaged for long periods of time can cause additional complications. People with chronic allergies tend to get colds more often. In addition, inflamed sinuses can harbor bacteria, leading to sinus or ear infections.
Its also not uncommon for allergy sufferers to also have asthma, resulting in more frequent asthma attacks.
What Are The Best Ways To Treat Seasonal Allergies
Is it the time of the year again? Are you blowing your nose more often than ever? Suppose flowers continue to bloom, and youre stuck with a stuffy nose, watery eyes, or sneezing. In that case, that may be a sign of seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies, called hay fever, can make you feel awful. Is there any way out of this? Yes. There are many things to treat your allergies, both before they act up and after they do.
ENT Allergy & Sinus Center is here to help you with your concern! Take these five ideal steps to treat and relieve your allergy symptoms. You can treat your allergies at home with natural remedies and over-the-counter medicines, as well as with prescription treatments and allergy testing with the help of an allergist.
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Ten Ways To Alleviate Seasonal Allergies Without Medication
When your immune system overreacts to an airborne substance that doesnt bother everyone around you, you have allergies. Pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and insect stings are the biggest culprits of seasonal allergies.
Increased pollen counts and higher temperatures across the globe are contributing to longer and more severe allergy seasons. This means many people whove never had an issue before are experiencing seasonal allergy symptoms for the first time. However, because these symptoms are so similar to the common cold, many just assume theyve caught a bug. If this sounds familiar, the best way to tell the difference between allergies and a cold is whether you have a fever. If youve been feeling unwell for 7 days or longer without a fever, you are probably suffering from seasonal allergies.
When you seek medical treatment for allergy symptoms, your doctor will typically prescribe medications or injections to help you feel better. But the good news is that there are a lot of things you can do at home to alleviate seasonal allergies without medication.
When To See A Doctor
If an allergy is interfering with the childs quality of life, you should set an appointment with your pediatrician.
In some cases, you may be referred to an allergist who can perform tests to identify the specific allergens your child is reacting to. With that information, the doctor may prescribe allergy shots to desensitize the child to specific triggers.
Never ignore persistent or worsening symptoms, particularly if the child is straining for breath, grunting, or flaring nostrils. Hives and swelling of the face and tongue are other concerning signs. Seek immediate medical help for trouble breathing or any swelling of the face or tongue.
If you are struggling to manage the symptoms in your child, do not hesitate to see a pediatrician. In some cases, there may be multiple or cross-reactive allergies affecting your child or other causes that may simply be mimicking the symptoms of allergy.
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