Spring has sprung in the northeast, and apart from the trick snowfall we’re experiencing on the first official day of spring (very funny, Mother Nature)- for allergy sufferers this can mean the start of misery season  for folks who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Often, allergy symptoms are confused with a cold or flu since many of the symptoms overlap, making it often hard to know what you’re suffering from, and therefore harder to treat.

How to tell the difference? Here are a few tips:

Seasonal allergies or a cold?

Here are some basic differences:

  • Typically allergy symptoms include red, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, rapid sneezing clear mucus, and allergies-or-a-cold-afc-urgent-care-danburysometimes even asthma symptoms.
  • Colds often include most allergy symptoms above, although eyes don’t typically itch, but can also include a low grade fever, a hacking cough, muscle aches and chills and mucus is usually thick and yellow.
  • Duration: A cold normally does not last as long as  allergies can. This is a big differentiator. Typical colds last between 5 -10 days, where-as seasonal allergies, if not treated early on, often go on for weeks and sometimes even months.

Preventative Steps to Control Allergies

Don’t let seasonal allergies rule your lives. There are preventative steps you can take to prevent, or at least lessen allergies symptoms during the high pollen and mold season:

  • When at all possible, stay indoors on high pollen count days
  • If you have access to them, use an air conditioner when indoors rather than opening doors or windows or using a fan, which will only draw in the allergens
  • Take frequent showers, at least when coming in from outdoors
  • Leave shoes outdoors
  • Vacuum frequently
  • Your pets can bring allergens indoors on their coats, especially if they are long haired. During high season, try to avoid having them roll around in high grasses, and shampoo as often as possible upon entering the house
  • Get rid of the carpet! For those highly allergic, carpeting or upholstery can trap all sorts of allergens. Hardwood or laminate floors will help those suffering from chronic seasonal allergies
  • When driving, use the air conditioner to filter pollen rather than opening windows.

You can pre-treat! Over the counter nasal sprays such as Nasonex or Zyrtec often work, especially if administered a few weeks prior to allergy season, or drugs such as Clariton, Allegra or Benadryl can often do the trick.

If you suffer from allergies or a cold, relief awaits. See your doctor or come see us with no appointment at either of our AFC Urgent Care Centers in Danbury, 2 Main Street at the corner of South, or 100 Mill Plain Road- where you’ll be greeted with a smile and attention.

Walk right in, or save time and check in online !