Allergies: Pollen, Pollen, Pollen
Watery and itchy eyes, a runny nose, and nasal congestion are common symptoms of allergies that can last for weeks at a time. In the case of seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis), the body mistakenly assumes the allergen, such as pollen is bacteria, and your immune system produces a chemical called histamine. It’s the histamine that causes your symptoms and also why over the counter medications for allergies are called antihistamines. Outdoor allergies are usually the result of a sensitivity to pollen.
Allergies are unfortunately a year round problem. Though many people assume the spring is the season for allergies, as the season change, so does the type of pollen. Summer is the season for grass pollen – roughly 90% of hay fever sufferers are affected by them. Autumn brings ragweed season. Though winter puts a stop to pollen-related symptoms, allergies to pet dander, dust mites and other indoor allergens normally pick up.
Treating Allergies at FastMed
The first step is to determine what is causing your allergies. If you haven’t been tested for allergies, the medical professionals at FastMed Urgent Care can conduct your allergy tests. If you have been tested but there have been changes in your environment at work or home, the medical team may recommend another test.
Next is a consultation to review your medical history and discuss the severity of your allergies. Please make sure you tell your doctor or nurse about any over the counter medications you’re taking to relieve the symptoms of your allergies. If needed, tests for lung function or X-rays might be taken. FastMed has on-site labs and takes digital x-rays at all our clinic locations, so we can respond quickly to relive your discomfort.
For severe allergies, your provider may recommend combination treatments, such as nasal sprays, eye drops, and steroids. For long term issues or serious allergic reactions, talk with your FastMed medical provider about whether you are a good candidate for allergy shots.