Everyone loves spring for its blooming flowers and rejuvenating atmosphere. Unfortunately, for some, it is also the beginning of something less pleasant, allergies. As the weather warms up and nature comes alive, allergens like pollen become more abundant, triggering allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. By understanding the different aspects of spring allergies, including hay fever, eye allergies, pollen, and knowing how to differentiate between allergy symptoms and colds or flu, we can prepare ourselves for one of the most gorgeous times of the year.
Dr. Zaheer Kader, Chief Medical Officer and principal of MediBüddy explains, “Spring allergies, or allergic rhinitis, are the result of our immune systems responding to allergens present in the environment during the spring season. If we are unprepared, all the pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, and mould spores, will leave us sniffling and sick.”
In light of the pandemic, many people have understandably become hesitant to visit doctors’ offices for treatable conditions such as allergies, fearing potential exposure to other sick individuals. Fortunately, the rise of telehealth apps, like Eagle Intelligent Health, offers a safe and convenient alternative, allowing virtual consultations with healthcare professionals and easy access to prescriptions and sick notes from the comfort of one’s home. However, prioritising prevention is crucial, and adopting practical tips and hacks can empower individuals to effectively identify and manage allergy symptoms. Arvind Raichur, CEO and Co-founder of the innovative new telehealth app Eagle Intelligent Health, says, “Telehealth not only makes healthcare more affordable, it has proven to be a convenient component in the healthcare.” By embracing these measures proactively, individuals can confidently navigate their allergies and safeguard their well-being.
Allergies versus a cold
It’s easy to confuse spring allergy symptoms with those of a cold or flu. However, some distinctions can help you tell the difference. Allergies rarely cause fever, while colds and flu often do. Additionally, cold symptoms might include a sore throat and body aches, which are less common with allergies. Pay attention to the duration of your symptoms; if they persist for weeks without improvement, it’s probably allergies.
Is it hay fever or something else?
Hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, is one of the most common forms of spring allergies. Its symptoms often mimic those of a cold, but there are key differences. Hay fever symptoms usually persist for weeks or months during the spring season, whereas cold symptoms tend to resolve within a week. Common hay fever symptoms include frequent sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watery, red eyes. If you experience these symptoms during spring, it’s more likely to be hay fever.
Managing eye allergies
Eye allergies can be particularly annoying during the spring when pollen counts are high. Conditions like allergic conjunctivitis, cause itching, redness, and excessive tearing in the eyes. It may be counterintuitive, but to manage eye allergies, avoid rubbing your eyes. Instead, use eye drops to keep them moisturised and consider wearing sunglasses when outdoors to reduce pollen exposure.
Pollen plays a significant role as a major spring allergen. To minimise your and your family’s pollen exposure, keep windows closed during peak pollen times, use air purifiers indoors and wash your clothes and hair after spending time outdoors. If you enjoy gardening, consider wearing a mask to reduce inhalation of pollen.
Managing spring allergy symptoms is possible with the right approach. Besides minimising exposure to allergens, consider over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids for relief. Alternatively, limit your time outside by consulting with a healthcare professional via telehealth for personalised advice and treatment.