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Seasonal Allergies: How To Recognize & Treat Them

Indian girl holding an green apple outdoorAhhh! Spring is finally appearing across the country with warmer temperatures and an explosion of blooms. But for many people, this is a mixed bag if they suffer from allergies.

How can you tell if you’re having an allergic reaction versus a cold or the flu? The symptoms are very similar: sneezing, itchy watery eyes, coughing and an excess of mucus production. Therein lies the difference – if you’re having an allergic reaction, your mucus will be clear, not yellow. And you will likely not have a fever, another sign of an infection.

So what are your options? How can you best treat the symptoms in an adult and in children, who especially want to be outdoors in the nicer weather?

Because there is no cure for allergies, although many children will outgrow them in time, the best treatment is usually a combination of prevention and OTC (over the counter) remedies that will alleviate symptoms.

The first line of treatment is often an antihistamine which will help clear up many of the uncomfortable symptoms. There are antihistamines specially developed for children (and adults) that have few side effects. Caution must be used in both children and adults not to exceed the recommended dosage. Also, since some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, driving or operating any type of equipment or machinery is not advisable.

Other OTC treatments include nasal sprays (usually saline) and eye drops. A doctor may prescribe allergy shots as well.

The other option is prevention, which means that you must first know what is causing the allergic reaction. This can be determined by a test or series of tests that will expose you to a number of possible allergens. Once you have determined the source or sources of discomfort, you can reduce or eliminate your exposure to them.

Happy Spring and here’s to being able to enjoy all its splendor and beauty in the great outdoors!

Always consult your doctor if you have questions or concerns regarding your allergies or overall health.

Written by: Deborah Dobson, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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