Your immune system works to protect you against harmful substances. Unfortunately, sometimes your body can identify a harmless substance as a threat. It isn’t fully understood why this happens, but when it does, it can cause allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, but most people fall somewhere between these extremes.
If you think you have allergies, the health experts at ENT of New Orleans can provide allergy testing to find out what you’re allergic to. They’ll also help you find ways to avoid the allergen and treat any associated symptoms.
The more you understand your allergy triggers, the easier it can be to cope with them. You may think you’re reacting to springtime pollen, for instance, when in fact you may be sensitive to a cleaning product used in your home or office.
Seasonal allergies (hay fever) and environmental allergies have similar symptoms but big differences in timing. If you have a seasonal allergy, you could get a runny nose in the spring from pollen or get congestion in the fall due to ragweed allergies. If you’re sensitive to an environmental allergen, however, such as dust mites, you could suffer year-round.
Colds and sinus infections share plenty of symptoms with allergies. Sometimes it’s tough to know the difference, but chances are if you have a fever, it’s not an allergy that’s stuffing you up. Also, runny noses tend to be clear with allergies, while colds or infections usually produce mucus that’s yellow or green.
Furthermore, if you know what substances cause your allergy symptoms, you can check the local weather report or the National Allergy Bureau. If pollen counts are low but your symptoms are anything but, you may not have an allergic reaction. Also, colds and infections rarely last past 10-14 days, so if you’re into your third week, chances are good that you’re responding to an allergen.
The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid the substances that trigger the reactions. Of course, that’s not always possible or practical. When you can, though, base your plans around pollen and mold levels. Pollen tends to be progressively prevalent and peak around midday, so save errands or outside activities for the afternoon and evening.
Furthermore, consider showering at night when you’ve been outside. Otherwise, allergens on your body and hair may trigger allergy symptoms all night. Other self-care strategies include:
Allergy testing and allergy shots are the next step beyond self-care. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.