Spring is a beautiful time of year with flowers blooming, grass turning green, warmer weather, gardening... and of course sneezing, itchy eyes, and allergies.
Sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion are very common signs of allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever. This is very common and affects anywhere from 10-30% of adults and children in the US. (1)
Like most people, when I walk or drive around I see that green film all over cars, homes, and everywhere. Many people think that is the cause of all your allergies. However, those particles are too thick and heavy to get into your nose.
Instead, it is all those beautiful flowers, trees, and grasses that are causing the biggest issue. Your body has an allergic response which releases histamines causing congestion, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and other symptoms.
I have been in health care for over 16 years. Allergies have been an issue all over the United States at different times of the year. However, there are some things you can do to minimize your symptoms at home:
Saline spray for your nose (such as simply saline) can and should be used after being outside and before bed. This is a great natural treatment that will help flush the allergens out of your nose before they cause major issues. Over the years I have worked with ranchers and farmers that started to keep saline spray in their trucks and tractors. They found that using saline spray several times a day decreased most of their symptoms.
Wearing face coverings while working outside in the garden, mowing the lawn, or on windy days can decrease the allergens you get into your nose.
There are some similarities between allergies, Covid 19, and the flu. However, some symptoms that are uncommon with allergies are fever, body aches, chills, fatigue, and chest pain. If you have the uncommon symptoms you should be evaluated for Flu or Covid 19. You can have a scratchy throat with allergies, but not normally a sore throat.
Under treated allergies increases your risk for ear infections and sinus infections. It is also important for people with asthma to have good control of their allergies to prevent worsening issues with their asthma.
All of the providers with QuickVisit Now are able to treat your allergies via virtual medicine. There are several over the counter medications that we can recommend, and some prescription medications that can also be beneficial for symptom management. Reach out via phone (800) 903-6184 or website to schedule your appointment 24/7/365.
Kimberly Catlin is a Family Nurse Practitioner with QuickVisit Now. After serving in the US Marine Corps, she went to UT Tyler for her undergraduate degree, while going through the program she worked as an LVN. Upon completion of her BSN in 2006 she worked in the Emergency Room and ICU as a registered nurse. In 2011 she graduated with her Masters in Nursing and obtained her Nurse Practitioner license. She spent the next 10 years working family practice, internal medicine, pulmonary, sleep and critical care. In April of 2020, she started with QuickVisit Urgent Care in Henderson, Texas. She moved full-time to QuickVisit Now as a virtual medicine provider in November 2020. She was promoted to management and QuickVisit Now Coordinator in October 2021. With her years of experience, she enjoys providing evidenced based practice to all ages.