Spring is here, and the warmer weather may leave you prone to allergic reactions. Some allergies may exhibit similar symptoms to a cold or even the flu, but it is critical to make sure you know which is causing your sniffles in order to receive the correct treatment and get the best medical attention for your needs.
What is an allergen?
Your doctor will be able to perform tests to determine which allergens cause a negative reaction in your body prior to an attack. Nearly anything can be an allergen, from foods and animals to plants and medications. Throughout the spring, many allergies are caused by environmental changes brought on by the transition to warmer weather. Since the flowers and trees are beginning to bloom, pollen is more abundant than it has been since last summer and can trigger hay fever. Any foreign substance that interacts with your body and causes a negative reaction can be an allergen.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction
Your symptoms may vary based on how your immune system reacts. You may also experience different reactions based on how different areas of your body respond to specific allergens. Reactions may affect:
- Ears, eyes, throat and nose: symptoms include irritation, redness, swelling and watering in the eyes. Your throat may begin to swell and develop a scratchy feeling, leaving your voice hoarse. You may also experience congestion, or a persistent runny nose.
- Skin: you may develop a red, bumpy rash, either where the allergen came into direct contact or across your body if you are reacting to something present in the air. As the rash spreads, it can affect your eyes and cause itching.
- Breathing: if your respiratory or circulatory systems are experiencing a reaction, you will experience shortness of breath. Your chest will become more tight, causing your heart rate to increase. As your blood pressure drops, you will become more at risk for developing shock, which can be severe.
- Severe allergic reaction: you should visit an emergency room immediately. You will experience fatigue, shortness of breath and increased heart rate, similar to symptoms of anxiety. You may be overcome by severe nausea as well as a fast-spreading rash. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock can present within moments and can be fatal if left untreated for too long. A shot of epinephrine, administered by an EpiPen at the scene or at the emergency room, will be able to provide immediate relief in order to begin treatment.
Visiting AFC Urgent Care for Allergy Treatment
If you are experiencing a non-life-threatening allergic reaction, you should visit AFC Urgent Care Springfield immediately for treatment. Your physician will be able to determine the allergen causing the attack and provide you with both over-the-counter and prescription methods for managing symptoms in case of a potential attack.