It is hard to believe that allergy season is upon us, but it’s true. Whether you live near the water, the mountains or in the middle of New York City, there is no escaping the fact that for 35 million Americans with seasonal allergies, spring means itchy eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose and congestion. And, as an allergy sufferer and the Mom of a 6 year old seasonal allergy sufferer, this is a challenging time of year. Luckily, we have the MinuteClinic® in our neighborhood for relief and guidance.
As a child, I never suffered from allergies. It wasn’t until I moved from California to New York, did I feel all of the traditional allergy symptoms. But, I had to learn the basics, to understand how to manage seasonal allergies.
What IS an allergy?
An allergy is the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and even some foods can cause allergic reactions.
What causes seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies are a reaction to small airborne substances. These allergens are small proteins that usually float around in the spring, summer and fall.
So, those springtime colds may actually be allergies?
Yes. A cold will typically clear up pretty quickly, within 7-10 days. Allergies may last weeks or even months!
So, how do you know if the onset of symptoms indicates whether you have a cold or allergies? Check out some great comparisons provided by MinuteClinic®.
Colds vs. Allergies
Many people confuse the symptoms of spring allergies with a common cold. Here’s what you need to know about the two:
- The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
- If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
Parents need to know how to protect their families from allergies and the best way to get allergy relief. I know that the answers to these questions are critical to enjoying outdoor activities with my family.
1: How can I protect my family and myself?
Symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Nasal saline, decongestants and over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines may help relieve symptoms as well.
2. How do I get allergy relief?
There are plenty of options! At MinuteClinic®, the nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.
If you’re diagnosed with allergies, medication may help relieve your symptoms. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the allergen – whatever it may be.
FiDi Families Insiders: MinuteClinic® Tips that we LOVE…
- Shake it off! Before coming inside, rid your clothes of pollen with a good shake.
- Did you know hair gel could be a pollen magnet? Skip the sticky stuff during allergy season for a little extra relief.
- Avoid window fans! While convenient, they tend to bring in unwanted pollens or mold spores.
- Fall asleep on clean sheets. Wash your bedding every two weeks to help ease allergy symptoms.
As a Mom of two toddlers, having access to health advocates and experts like the one’s at MinuteClinic® is convenient and reliable. My family has trusted their pharmacy team for several issues, whether it has related to teething questions, over-the-counter medications or seasonal allergies. If you haven’t stepped inside a MinuteClinic®, consider it during allergy season. To learn more, visit http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic
ABOUT: MinuteClinic® is the walk-in medical clinic inside select CVS/pharmacy®stores. We provide quality and convenient health care services 7 days a week — no appointment necessary. Most insurance plans accepted.
Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic®