Health

Fall allergies: What to know about causes, symptoms, and care


The only way to be completely sure you don’t have Covid is to get tested – but there are a few clues to help pinpoint the source of your sniffles. Viral infections tend to develop suddenly and then go away, while allergies appear every four or six or eight weeks, Dr. Parikh said. And allergies – unlike colds, Covid and flu – usually don’t cause fever, body aches or digestive symptoms like diarrhea, she says. She adds that itching can be a sign that you’re dealing with an allergy, so keep an eye out for itchy, tingling sensations in your ears, eyes, throat, and nose. Fall allergens can also cause rashes like eczema.

It’s important to monitor your allergy symptoms, especially since allergies can trigger asthma. More than 4,000 people die from asthma every year, Black Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma and five times more likely to be treated in the emergency room, Mendez said. Black women have the highest asthma mortality rates in the United States, he added. Dr. Parikh said: The number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations related to asthma tends to increase in the fall, partly due to allergies; “People don’t realize how serious it is.”

Coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness can be signs that allergies have led to your asthma, especially if you wake up in the middle of the night with these symptoms, Dr. Parikh says. If you feel lightheaded, tired, or dizzy after light physical activity, like doing housework, or being unable to complete your normal exercise routine, it could also be a sign of illness.

There are basic habits that can help reduce the amount of pollen entering your home. Close windows as much as possible, especially on sunny, windy days when pollen counts are particularly high, and take off your shoes at the door. You may also want to take a shower and change clothes when you get home. HEPA air filters can help clean indoor air and remove mold. Try to vacuum your house more often, especially if you have pets – every day if you can, says Dr. Consider washing your sheets regularly, and if possible, keep pets out of your bedroom, so they don’t track pollen on your pillows, says Dr.

When going out, you should wear a hat and sunglasses, which can help shield your face from pollen, says Dr. (Masks can also relieve symptoms.)

Medicine is also an important tool. Over-the-counter nasal steroids such as fluticasone and triamcinolone can help relieve sniffles and congestion; Eye drops can wash away irritants and treat symptoms such as itchy, red, watery eyes. These targeted interventions tend to be more helpful than oral antihistamines, says Dr Pham, although oral antihistamine tablets can also relieve symptoms – especially itching, sneezing. and runny nose. (Think Allegra or Zyrtec.) Some oral antihistamines, like Benadryl, can make people drowsy.

Some patients may want to switch to decongestants, like Afrin or Sudafed, says Dr. Parikh, but those drugs can have a “rebound effect” — after you take them for a long time, The blood vessels in your nose are also unresponsive, and you could have an even worse blockage. If you want to be drug-free, nasal irrigation devices such as neti pot They can wash pollen from your sinuses, but they won’t treat allergies on their own.

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