Allergy season is a perennial annoyance, but if you’re focusing on the pandemic, they still could catch you by surprise, an expert says.
“People still have COVID on their minds,” says Dr. Mark Corbett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
“They might not be thinking about spring allergies, so symptoms could sneak up on them,” Corbett said in a college news release.
Getting ahead of your symptoms
“One of the most important tools for battling spring allergies is to get ahead of symptoms,” he advises. “Begin taking your allergy medications two to three weeks before your itching and sneezing normally start to occur. And be aware that, thanks to climate change, symptoms may appear even earlier than normal.”
Both COVID-19 and spring allergies can cause symptoms such as cough, fatigue and headache. But COVID — especially the Omicron variant — can cause more nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, postnasal drainage and symptoms of a sinus infection, while allergies rarely cause a fever.
If you think you might have COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible. If it’s not COVID-19 and your symptoms have been dragging on for a while, get tested for seasonal allergies, Corbett advises.
RELATED: Asthma Triggers To Avoid This Spring
Know your allergy triggers
It’s important to know your allergy triggers so you can treat them properly.
The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen. Trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. If they get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the body’s defenses haywire.
You may be tempted to open your windows to bring fresh spring air into your home or car, but that’s a bad idea if you’re allergic to pollen, Corbett shares. Instead, you should use air conditioning in both your home and car to keep pollen out.
It’s also important to note that pollen can travel for miles, so it’s not just about the plants in your neighborhood.
Pollen counts are usually high on breezy days because when the wind picks up, they are carried through the air. Meanwhile, rainy days,