How To Tackle Spring Allergies With Preventive Healthcare

How To Tackle Spring Allergies With Preventive Healthcare

How To Tackle Spring Allergies With Preventive Healthcare, As the snow melts and the first buds of spring start to appear, so too do the symptoms of seasonal allergies for many individuals. These allergies cause discomfort and inconvenience to those sensitive to pollen-filled air. However, with the right preventive care measures, it is possible to enjoy the beauty of spring without the usual dread of allergy season.

Understanding the spring allergy season

When everything is covered in yellow dust, it’s a sign that sniffles might quickly follow. The pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds primarily triggers spring allergies. Hopefully, the preventive healthcare measures you took over the winter have set you up for success in weathering the new, well, weather. But the type and severity of allergies vary significantly depending on your region, as different plants pollinate at various times nationwide.

Understanding regional and seaonal differences and the most common triggers is crucial in managing your allergy symptoms effectively. Other less common contributors to allergies are:Stress: Stress levels often rise in spring and can exacerbate allergy symptoms due to increased histamine in the bloodstream. “Foreign” pollen: Pollen can travel hundreds of miles, which means you could be affected by pollen from far-flung areas, not just your local flora.

Weather: Thunderstorms can significantly affect pollen distribution and allergy symptoms. While rain typically washes pollen away, thunderstorms can stir up pollen, leading to increased allergy flare-ups post-storm. This phenomenon, sometimes called “thunderstorm asthma,” can be particularly challenging for allergy sufferers.

Ladybugs: Though not very common, certain species of ladybugs have been found to cause allergic reactions in some individuals. As the weather warms up, these ladybugs become more active, potentially leading to increased allergy symptoms for those affected.

Whether it’s plain old pollen or something more unique that causes your symptoms to flare up, once you identify your trigger(s), you can take preventive healthcare measures to treat symptoms proactively.

Woman sneezing in a tissue in the living room

How to know if it’s allergies or just a cold

You don’t feel well, but you’re unsure if you’re sick or reacting to whatever’s blooming in your neighborhood. Distinguishing between colds and allergies can sometimes be challenging due to overlapping symptoms. However, there are key differences that can help make diagnosis easier:

Common Cold Symptoms

  • Sore throat: Often one of the first signs of a cold.
  • Runny nose: Usually starts with clear mucus, which becomes thicker and cloudier.
  • Cough: Develops as the cold progresses.
  • Fever: Not always present but is a clear indicator of a cold rather than allergies.
  • Body aches: A general feeling of being unwell is common with a cold.
  • Duration: Colds usually last about 3 to 10 days.

Allergy Symptoms

  • Itchy eyes/nose/throat: This is more specific to allergies, particularly when it involves the eyes.
  • Runny nose: The mucus is typically thin and clear, similar to the early stages of a cold, but persists this way.
  • Sneezing: Often more frequent and intense in allergy sufferers, especially in response to specific triggers.
  • No fever: Allergies do not cause a fever.
  • Chronic symptoms: Allergy symptoms can last for weeks or as long as the person is exposed to the allergen.

Diagnosis Tips

  • Look at the duration: If symptoms last more than two weeks, it’s likely allergies.
  • Consider the time of year: Colds are more common during winter, while allergies may flare up during specific seasons (like spring for pollen).
  • Observe symptom patterns: Recurring symptoms at the same time each year are indicative of allergies.
  • Check for fever: A fever is a sign of a cold, not allergies.
  • Notice the type of sneeze: Rapid and numerous sneezes are typical for allergies.

Preventive care is the best way to keep colds and allergies from keeping you down. But if you’re genuinely unsure where your symptoms are coming from, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Treating allergy symptoms with preventive healthcare

Just go to any allergy aisle in the drug store, and you’ll be faced with a wall of preventive care options and medications to treat symptoms already in motion. Some are in the form of skin creams and shots, while others are available by prescription only. Here’s an overview:

  • Oral Antihistamines: Pills or liquids that alleviate sneezing, itching, and runny nose. They can also cause drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness.
  • Nasal Sprays: Steroid-based for inflammation (which may lead to nose irritation or nosebleeds) and antihistamine types for blocking histamines directly in the nose (which can cause a bitter taste or drowsiness).
  • Eye Drops: Specifically formulated to relieve itchy, watery eyes, but could also cause temporary stinging or burning, headaches, or blurred vision.
  • Decongestants: Often found in pills or nasal sprays, targeting nasal congestion. Oral forms could increase blood pressure and cause restlessness or trouble sleeping; nasal sprays might lead to rebound congestion if used for too long.

 

Nervous girl suffering from itching

When to see a medical provider about allergies

Usually, allergy symptoms subside, and life returns to normal. However, you should consider seeing a medical provider for your allergies if you experience severe symptoms that interfere with your daily life, if over-the-counter medications do not provide relief, or if you have complications like sinus infections or asthma. Specialists can offer more detailed testing to identify specific allergens, prescribe more potent medications, and may even recommend treatments like immunotherapy (allergy shots), which can desensitize your body to allergens over time. However, they may not be able to cure allergies completely.

The role of preventive healthcare in allergy management

Preventive healthcare plays a pivotal role in managing seasonal allergies effectively. Establishing a relationship with a primary care provider (PCP) can be particularly beneficial. Your PCP can help you differentiate between allergies and illnesses, guide you on over-the-counter remedies, and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist for further testing and treatment.

Curative, a comprehensive preventive healthcare partner, offers comprehensive coverage for allergy treatments, including immunotherapy (allergy injections) and various allergy tests, when conducted by qualified professionals.

You’ll gain access to in-network allergists without worrying about copays or deductibles*, fostering a long-term partnership with preventive healthcare providers who understand and cater to your evolving healthcare needs and integrating allergy treatments into a personalized healthcare plan.

To see all disclaimers, please view them here.

About Curative

Do you love using your health benefits? At Curative, we want you to! We bring better health to our members through affordability, engagement, and simplicity.  With one monthly premium, Curative members have access to all kinds of preventive care treatments, and you pay:

  • No copays
  • No out-of-pocket fees
  • No cost for preferred prescriptions
  • No deductibles for care within our network

No…really. All that “nothing” adds up to a lot. Curative is changing the way we view health insurance. For more information on our health insurance, visit our members page.

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