How to Battle Seasonal Allergies This Spring

Although the coronavirus is all that’s on anyone’s mind right now, springtime heralds the arrival of another health condition that countless people suffer from—seasonal allergies. As trees blossom and flowers bloom, people start to notice that their eyes are itchy and their nose is running.

In the face of a global pandemic, seasonal allergies can seem like a small concern. However, seasonal allergy sufferers know how debilitating they can be. The symptoms associated with springtime allergies can make going about your daily life miserable.

Fortunately, there are some ways to battle your seasonal allergies.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

Those who have suffered from seasonal allergies for years likely already know their “triggers.” Also known as hay fever, seasonal allergies are the body’s reaction to harmless substances which it mistakes for dangerous invaders. In the spring, pollen from blooming trees, flowers, and plants is the most likely culprit.

Approximately 30% of adults and 40% of children in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies. In Virginia, allergy season is nearly in full swing.

This year, following a short, mild winter, the Commonwealth is experiencing an earlier spring than usual. Although that means there are plenty of beautiful plants and trees blooming, it also means that the seasonal allergies of tens of thousands of people will soon be flaring up.

What Are Common Seasonal Allergy Symptoms?

For most people, the symptoms of seasonal allergies resemble those of a cold. Most commonly, people experience a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and possibly a sore throat. In some cases, sinus infections and headaches can occur as a result of the excess drainage associated with seasonal allergies.

Sadly, unlike with other health problems, there isn’t a cure for allergies. However, they can make you just as miserable as if you were sick.

Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

Although there isn’t a cure for seasonal allergies, there are several ways to treat them. Taking these steps can help you feel less miserable and avoid walking around with watery eyes and a runny nose all spring.

When possible, the best remedy for seasonal allergies is avoidance. This year, social distancing efforts are keeping many people at home. For seasonal allergy sufferers, that’s the best place to be. Although it’s impossible to completely avoid allergy triggers like pollen at this time of year, limiting your exposure to them by staying indoors is a good first step. If you do go outside for some fresh air, taking some precautions at home can decrease the amount of pollen you bring back. After coming home, be sure to take off your clothes and throw them in a closed-lid hamper. You can also purchase a HEPA air filter to eliminate airborne allergens in your home.

Another way to try and limit seasonal allergy symptoms is a sinus rinse. Pollen is a very sticky material that tends to get trapped in your nasal passages. Rinsing with a saline solution helps flush it out and also gets rid of the built-up mucus. Squeeze bottles with a premade solution are readily available at drugstores. Or, you could invest in a neti pot, a small device specifically designed for nasal rinsing.

For those with persistent seasonal allergy symptoms, over-the-counter allergy medications may help. Oral antihistamines (like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin) help control a wide variety of allergy symptoms. For those with allergies that particularly affect their nose, decongestant medications (like Sudafed) can decrease your stuffiness and help mucus drain easier.

Velocity Urgent Care Has Your Back

If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer in Virginia, Velocity Urgent Care has your back. Our network of clinics is ready to address your healthcare needs.

Our team of friendly, board-certified providers will ensure that your allergies are just that, allergies, and not something more concerning. You will receive quick, affordable care to address your allergy symptoms and start feeling better.

After a medical exam, our providers can prescribe anti-histamine medications and nasal sprays to eliminate your itchy eyes and runny nose. If you’re dealing with more severe symptoms, they can also refer you to an allergy specialist. Feel free to walk in during our convenient hours or check-in early online and skip the waiting room.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care—whether it’s for a broken bone or seasonal allergies.

As local primary care offices either close or transition to telemedicine, we understand that certain things can’t be treated over the phone—or through a screen. Whether you have seasonal allergy symptoms, an earache, a stomachache, a sprained ankle, or are just feeling under the weather, Velocity Urgent Care is the place to go for fast, safe, and effective treatment.

We are an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible. All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome.

To find out more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.