Spring is here and with it comes many delights: warmer weather, longer days, and blossoming trees. Unfortunately, these seasonal changes aren't welcomed by everyone. For many of us, they are eclipsed by the itchy eyes, sneezing, and congestion of hay fever and other spring allergies. This condition plagues about 25 million Americans.
As you manage your symptoms, it helps to know when the types of pollen appear:
Spring = Tree Pollen
Summer = Grass Pollen
Fall = Weed Pollen
Although colds and allergies share some of the same symptoms, they are different diseases. Common colds are caused by viruses and may last 3-10 days. Allergies are immune system responses triggered by allergens which may last several weeks to months.
You can examine your symptoms to decipher whether you have a cold or allergies in this way:
ColdAllergyCoughUsuallySometimesGeneral aches/painsSometimesNeverItchy EyesRarelyUsuallySneezingUsuallyUsuallySore ThroatUsuallyRarelyRunny NoseUsuallyUsuallyStuffy NoseUsuallyUsuallyFeverRarelyNever
Other tips include:
- Keep an eye on the pollen count and plan outdoor activities when pollen counts are lower.
- When driving in the car, keep windows shut and set your ventilation to recirculate.
- If you have grass allergies, have someone else mow your lawn.
- If you have pets that go outdoors, bathe them more frequently to remove pollen from their fur.
- Breathe steam to refresh and soothe irritated sinuses.
Health and Wellness Director