Allergy Season!

Allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness!

Allergies are a result of an overreaction in some individuals to allergens or substances that generally do not affect others. Some allergies are year-round, such as those to animal dander, cockroaches, dust mites, foods, medicines, and mold. Other allergies are seasonal and affect individuals during only certain times of the year. These seasonal allergies fall under the broad name of hay fever, aptly named after a hay-cutting season. Hay fever is typically the result of pollen produced by plants such as grass, trees, and weeds.

These allergies occur between spring and autumn, depending on the weather and the geographic location. Many who suffer from seasonal allergies have an overlap of allergies and experience symptoms throughout the season. Spring allergies often begin in September with tree pollination, followed by grass pollination in the spring and summer and, finally, weed pollination in the late summer to early autumn.

IS IT A COLD OR ALLERGIES?

Classic symptoms of seasonal allergies include blue-colored, swollen skin under the eyes, also known as allergy shiners; a cough; fatigue; an itchy nose, roof of mouth, and/or throat; itchy, red, or watery eyes; nasal congestion; postnasal drip; and rhinorrhea and sneezing. Several other, less common symptoms are asthma, bronchitis, chronic fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, lack of endurance when exercising, sinusitis, sleep disorders, and upper respiratory tract infections.

Pharmacists can help patients distinguish between the common cold and seasonal allergies. Although the conditions share many symptoms, the common cold presents with aches and pains and often a cough and a sore throat, which are not typical with seasonal allergies. A common cold generally lasts between 3 and 14 days, whereas seasonal allergies can last for weeks on end.

So make sure you’ve stocked up on your allergy medication before Spring starts and protect yourself from the risk of developing more serious illnesses.