This is spring break for some. I am “manning the storefront” and have seen countless allergy patients. Some wonder if they have a cold? Or hay fever? Here is the lowdown.
Hay fever tends to be more seasonal with symptoms like
- itching (eyes, nose, throat, skin),
- runny nose,
- stuffy nose,
- sore throat,
- dark circles under your eyes,
- difficulty smelling,
- watery, red, or swollen eyes. (Do I sound like a TV ad?)
Hay fever can last for weeks. It is caused by allergens which cause your body to have an allergic reaction. When you are exposed to an allergen, your body starts to release chemicals which cause your symptoms. If you are allergic to pollen, or hot windy days the air will carry the pollen to you (instead of staying on the flower or the ground).
When should you see your doctor? If your symptoms bother you, see your doctor. A physical exam may reveal other diagnoses. Keep a record of your symptoms over time as this helps me know your triggers.
There are many medications to help treat the symptoms. Some are pills and others are nasal sprays or eye drops. You can also
- avoid the allergens that cause your symptoms.
- Keep your windows and doors closed.
- Use a nasal saline rinse to help clear out the allergens.
- Wash hair before bedtime and
- change your pillowcase nightly to keep allergens away from your face.
Hope this helps.