Is someone at your house sniffling and sneezing? Yep, it’s that time of year. Today our sponsors at Lakewood Pediatrics explain the differences between types of allergies, how to know if it’s an allergy or a cold, and common treatment options.
As always, this post should not be substituted for actual medical advice, and we remind you that you are responsible for your family’s health decisions. The board certified physicians at Lakewood Pediatrics do have openings for new patients, and they would be glad to help you come up with a plan for the allergy sufferers in your house!
It’s Allergy Season!
Normally at this time of year we start to be bothered by spring time allergies. This year, I think we are at least a couple weeks off, but never fear, allergy season will be here soon. Allergic Rhinitis is a condition suffered by many and comes in several forms. It is important to determine whether an allergy is a seasonal or year round allergy, because the treatment is a little different for each type.
Seasonal Allergies and How To Treat Them
Most people with seasonal allergies start having sneezing, stuffy nose, and sometimes itchy eyes in early spring, and these symptoms last until mid or late summer. A person might be sensitive to trees or grasses. Symptoms are highest when this plant is doing its thing, and get better when that season is over. They usually notice that their symptoms are worse when they are outside. You might be allergic to one or several plants, and when these are not around, you are fine. You have probably noticed a pattern that these symptoms happen every year at the same time. Most with seasonal allergies do fine with a daily antihistamine like Loratidine (Claritin), Cetirizine (Zyrtec) or Fexofenidine (Allegra). Avoidance of the allergen is usually not practical, and we want everyone to be outside having fun!
Perennial, or year round allergies, are allergies to things like dust and pet hair. With respect to perennial allergies, avoidance is a first step in management. Steps are taken to reduce exposure to dust, and if you know that you react to a cat or dog, then avoiding contact might be a consideration. If avoidance is not possible or practical, then preventative treatments are recommended. These usually take the form of nasal sprays such as Fluticasone (Flonase).
Is it a Cold or an Allergy?
It is important to mention that viruses that cause colds are often mistaken for allergies. Colds usually come out of nowhere, might be associated with a little fever, usually have more of a runny nose and sometimes cough, and go away in 1 – 2 weeks. People with colds usually feel sicker than those with allergies. Allergies are associated more with sneezing and stuffiness, and itchy nose and eyes. Colds usually don’t respond well to allergy medications. Allergies are connected to exposure to the thing you are allergic to; if you are allergic to grass, then your symptoms reliably show up when you are around that grass. Colds do not seem to be connected to anything and usually happen in winter.
What to do Next
If your symptoms don’t seem to be getting better with the remedies mentioned above, be sure to see your doctor. A lot of money can be saved by getting generic forms of the allergy medications. Decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin are not recommended. If the person with allergies is a child, you will want to consult your doctor before using any medicines or treatment.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with text provided by the physicians at Lakewood Pediatrics. If you have a child with allergies, or you suspect your child may have a seasonal allergy, you should consult your pediatrician. If you don’t have one or are thinking of making a change, the team at Lakewood Pediatrics invites you to consider one of their board certified physicians. You can head here for easy contact information or call 253 581 2111. Their offices are convenient to Fircrest, UP, Dupont, Lakewood, and the greater area. Please do tell them, “Thanks,” for sponsoring Sounds Fun Mom.