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Conquering Allergy Season with First Care

The pretty weather is finally here, but with it comes—unfortunately—several allergy-inducing factors. If you’re burdened by a runny nose and itchy eyes, you might wonder if it’s allergies or something else. First Care is here to help you identify the most common allergies, teach you what you can do if you’re suffering from allergies, and let you know all the ways we can help you feel better!

Common Allergies

First, it’s important to know the most common allergies. It’s also critical to identify your triggers so that you can combat your allergies. Here are the top allergens in Alabama that you should be aware of:

·       Mold spores

·       Dust and dust mites

·       Pet dander

·       Tree pollen

·       Grass pollen

·       Ragweed pollen

Symptoms of Allergies

There are quite a few symptoms that point to allergies, but they can often be confused with symptoms of a cold or flu. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for if you believe you might have allergies:

·       Sneezing: Allergy-induced sneezing is a common symptom experienced by those with allergies. These sneezing episodes usually occur in bouts, and they may be accompanied by various other symptoms such as itching, nasal discharge, and congested sinuses. These symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the individual and the severity of their allergies.

·       Runny or Stuffy Nose: When trying to differentiate between allergies and colds, one of the key factors to look for is the type of nasal discharge. Allergic reactions, caused by allergens such as pollen, mold, or pet dander, usually result in a clear, thin discharge from your nose. On the other hand, colds, which are caused by viruses, often produce thicker and more discolored mucus. Nasal congestion is also a common symptom of both allergies and colds, but it's important to note that allergies typically cause more persistent and long-lasting congestion than colds. So, if you're experiencing nasal symptoms, paying attention to the type and consistency of your nasal discharge can help you determine whether you are dealing with an allergy or a cold.

·       Itchy or Watery Eyes: Allergies are a common condition that can trigger a range of symptoms, including irritation, itching, and watering of the eyes. These symptoms are typically not seen in cases of colds or flu and can be quite troublesome for those experiencing them. Allergies are caused by the immune system reacting to a foreign substance, such as pollen, dust mites, or animal dander, and can be managed through various methods including avoidance of triggers, taking medication, and receiving allergy shots.

·       Fatigue: Individuals who suffer from allergies may often experience tiredness or fatigue, which can be attributed to several factors. One of the primary reasons could be disrupted sleep due to nasal congestion, sneezing, or other allergy-related symptoms. Additionally, excessive sinus congestion can also lead to fatigue, as it puts a significant amount of strain on the body's immune system, causing it to work harder than normal. This can cause the body to feel tired and worn out, making it difficult for allergy sufferers to carry out their daily activities with ease and energy.

Understandably, most people confuse allergies with a cold or flu. However, allergies usually don't cause a low-grade fever and typically come with itchiness symptoms. Regardless, if you're experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, the professionals at First Care can assist you in determining the exact cause of your symptoms.

How to Alleviate Allergies

If you suspect that you have allergies, there are a few steps that can help you minimize your symptoms and manage your condition:

1.       Keep a dust-free home. Dust and clean surfaces regularly, vacuum often, and use air purifiers to reduce indoor allergens. Also, make sure you wash your bedding in hot water weekly to eliminate dust mites. If you sleep with any animals currently, you might want to rethink that sleeping arrangement and give Fido a special bed to sleep in away from your nasal passages!

2.       Use a dehumidifier. Ensure you are using a good dehumidifier to keep humidity levels between 30%-50% to keep mold and mites from growing and thriving in your home. That should help with those unstoppable sneeze sessions!

3.       Keep an eye on pollen counts. If you’re suffering from those outdoor allergies, it’s important to keep a watch on the current pollen counts from day to day. If counts are high, avoid that outdoor run or gardening session. Your eyes will thank you! 

4.       Use over-the-counter methods for relief. For many allergy sufferers, saline nasal rinses, non-drowsy antihistamines, or nasal corticosteroids are effective in managing their mild-to-moderate allergy symptoms. Give these a try to find out what works best for you!

If you have been suffering from allergies, you’re not alone. First Care sees hundreds of patients each month who suffer from allergies just like you and can help you manage your symptoms. We will come up with a comprehensive plan that is tailored just for you and can even perform allergy testing right in our clinic to pinpoint your exact triggers. Don’t suffer another minute with allergies—book an appointment with First Care today and take the first steps in finding relief for your allergies!

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