If you suffer from allergies, then you know all too well about the itchy eyes, runny nose, constant sneezing, coughing and fatigue that may come along with this diagnosis. Typically, your immune system will protect your body from foreign substances such as allergens. Most people do not experience any difficulties when allergens enter their body, however; in a person who suffers from allergies their bodies release histamines.

Histamines are a chemical which our immune systems naturally create. They are released when your body is needing help rid of a foreign substance that is bothering you: such as an allergy.

Common Types of Allergies

  • Pharmaceuticals/Drugs
    • Ingredients found in certain medications can cause a person to have an allergic reaction. These may include allergies to penicillin & aspirin or other pain relieving meds.
  • Dust, mold and mildew
  • Food
    • This can include nuts, seafood, milk, eggs. According to the ACAAI it is estimated that 4-6% of children and 4% of adults suffer from food allergies.
  • Pollen
    • This is often experienced in people who suffer from seasonal changes.
  • Animal dander and other domestic animals such as dogs and cats
  • Insect bites/venom
    • The most common is bee stings
  • Chemicals
    • In relation to allergies, we are referring to environmental chemicals such as pesticides, and other air contaminants.

There are over the counter remedies you can try, and also some at home DIY remedies as well. Over the counter remedies include taking antihistamines which are available in many different forms such as eye drops, nasal sprays and pills. An example of this medication would be Claritin, an antihistamine, or Flonase, a nasal steroid spray.

Some at home remedies may include:

  • Use an air purifier – It acts as a cleaner which takes away pollen, dust, mold spores, dust mites, dander and other allergens that could cause a bad reaction. The filters in your air conditioning unit or air purifier need to be checked every 30 days and replaced on a regular basis.
  • Wash your bedding – Wash your bedding once a week in hot water to rid it of any bacteria, dust mites, and allergens that you may have accumulated on your body and transfer to your bedding while you sleep.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to dust your home – Other kinds of cloths don’t hold onto the dust as well which allows them to move freely back into the air.
  • Use air conditioning over open windows – Sometimes it’s nice to get fresh air into your house, but when you open the windows you are also opening a freeway for allergens to seep inside.
  • Use a HEPA filter –It’s recommended you use a HEPA filter on your vacuum because it will trap extremely small particles that move freely in the air.

What is the difference in allergy vs. cold symptoms?

Great question! Someone suffering from allergies may notice the symptoms lasting a much longer duration than your typical cold. A cold may last up to two weeks, whereas allergies can last anywhere from days to months. Typically, someone experiencing a cold may have a gradual onset symptoms over a few days whereas allergies can happen immediately without warning. One of the biggest symptoms that can help you to determine if you are suffering from allergies or a cold is the color of your mucus from your runny nose. Usually the mucus found in those with a cold is of a yellow color whereas allergy mucus is clear. With a cold you may have a fever and with allergies you do not experience a fever unless you are developing complications that may arise from your allergies.

The medical practitioners at Midwest Express Clinic may ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms and lifestyle habits to try and narrow down the source. Additional testing may be required. If you cannot seem to find relief from your allergies, and at home remedies and over the counter medications are just not cutting it, you may want to visit Midwest Express Clinic. We are open seven days a week, 9am-9pm.

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