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Spring Allergy or Something More Serious?

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The dawn of spring should be an exciting, carefree time. But if you’re one of the many people who suffers from seasonal allergies, when spring comes you may be filled with dread instead of excitement. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, spring allergies begin in February and can last until early summer. Ragweed is the most common trigger for allergies, followed very closely by grass and tree pollen. Mold is also a common cause of allergies. Seasonal allergies can be worse after a mild winter, because plants are pollinated early.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Some common seasonal allergy symptoms are red, itchy or watery eyes, coughing, headache, itchy throat, pain in the ear, sneezing, runny nose and post-nasal drip. Seasonal allergies can cause a wide variety of symptoms that are not included on this list as well.

Because of the broad range of symptoms, it’s easy to mistake a more serious illness for seasonal allergies. In the spring, you may be quick to write off any sickness they come down with as seasonal allergies. However, this can be dangerous. In the following paragraphs, several conditions with similar symptoms to seasonal allergies are discussed.

The Common Cold

It’s very easy to confuse the common cold with allergies because many of the symptoms overlap. Both ailments can cause coughing, sore throat, runny nose and itchy eyes. However, the common cold can cause fever and general aches and pains, which is never caused by allergies. The common cold can lead to sinus infections and middle ear infections, which is rare with allergies.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a condition that causes the cavities around the nasal passages to become swollen. Like seasonal allergies it can cause a stuffy nose and headache. However, this condition persists for at least 12 weeks, and causes a variety of symptoms that seasonal allergies don’t cause, such as poor nasal drainage and mucus buildup. It can also cause pain and tenderness in the face, as well as thick discharge from the nose.

It’s important to visit a clinic like Premier Surgical Associates if you suspect you have chronic sinusitis, because it can be treated by saline nasal irrigation, antibiotics or nasal corticosteroids to prevent it from getting worse.

The Flu

The flu has symptoms in common with seasonal allergies, including sore throat, nasal congestion, coughing and sore throat. However, it also presents some serious symptoms not caused by allergies, such as a lasting fever, or even pneumonia.

When to Pay a Visit to the Doctor

If you suspect your seasonal allergy symptoms might be something more than just allergies, it’s always safest to see a doctor. As you can see, there are plenty of conditions that can be mistaken for allergies and it’s very hard for an average person to make this determination themselves. When in doubt, see a doctor and solve your seasonal allergy woes once and for all.