Allergy Season in Rockledge, Florida

鼻炎 子供 アレルギーSpring season is always a difficult time for those who suffer with allergies.  Unfortunately, with the extreme winter temperatures throughout the east coast, with Rockledge having a warmer than normal winter and add in the unusual precipitation levels in our local area, allergies this year may be even worse than normal.  With over 15% of the population suffering from seasonal allergies, many people will be feeling under the weather during the spring

What are the common allergies in our area?

Some of the most common allergies in our area include dust, dander, tree pollen and grass pollen.  An allergy to dust really means that you are allergic to dust mites, which are little microscopic creatures that live in the dust.  Dander is actually a pet’s dead skin cells. As warmer weather approaches and pets start to shed their winter coats, they will also start to shed dead skin cells. And pollen is what is released when flowers and trees start to bloom in the spring.

Symptoms of allergies

The most common symptoms include itchy, runny eyes, coughing, sneezing, itching and congestion.  Some of the lesser reported symptoms include itchy skin, hives, rashes, fatigue or sore throat.  Some of the rarest, but most extreme allergy symptoms include wheezing, swelling of the airways and difficulty breathing.  Many of the mild-to-moderate allergy symptoms are uncomfortable, but can be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medication.

How to manage mild-to-moderate symptoms

Many mild-to-moderate symptoms can be treated at home.  The first thing to use would be an over-the-counter antihistamine to help block the release of histamines, which are the body’s reaction to the allergen.  Other OTC medication should be used to treat the symptom itself.  If you have congestion, a decongestant or saline nasal spray might help.  If you have a sore throat, an OTC pain reliever or throat spray is good to have on hand.

Other ways to manage your seasonal allergies include environmental or lifestyle changes.  If you’re allergic to pollen, it’s probably best to change clothes and take a shower when coming inside from outside in order to wash the pollen off your body.  It’s a good idea to keep your windows shut and your air conditioner turned on.  You may also wish to limit your time outside until pollen levels start to recede.

If you are allergic to dust or dander, keeping the house free of these items is a good idea.  If you are going through the house with duster and cleaning ledges, you probably want to wear a face mask in order to keep from breathing in the dust.  Keeping mattresses clean, linens washed and carpets vacuumed can also help reduce symptoms.

When to see a doctor

There are a few times when it’s best to get your doctor involved.  Certainly, if you have any symptom that includes trouble breathing or swelling of the throat, get medical help immediately – do not wait.

If you have symptoms that are not being helped by OTC medication or you have symptoms that come back every single year, it’s best to see a doctor to determine the best allergy management strategy.  This may include prescription medication or even allergy testing and shots.

It’s also a good idea to see a doctor if you are unsure if you really do have allergies or if your symptoms suddenly change and you start having a fever, severe pain or extreme sinus pressure.  Your doctor will be able to determine if you have something other than allergies or if your allergies contributed to an infection.

Overall, allergies could last for several months.  By making some simple changes and managing your symptoms, allergies don’t have to get the best of you!

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