Hopefully you and your family have made it through the winter without the flu. As the warmer weather begins creeping in, so will seasonal allergies. Surprisingly, 20-40% of the population suffers from allergies, and one out of every four children is allergic to something. Those odds may help you make sense of the sneezing and coughing that overtakes your household in the spring. In Mississippi, allergy season strikes earlier than in other parts of the country, so we want to be prepared.
Symptoms Of Allergies
An allergy occurs when a substance that is usually harmless causes your immune system to overreact. Allergies can include pollen from various grasses and trees, pet dander, mold, dust mites, and even food. The most common food allergens are found in peanuts, eggs, milk, and shellfish. Allergies to mold and pollen are typically seasonal when particles more easily enter the nose or throat causing irritation. Allergies have no cure and reveal themselves through sneezing, coughing, congestion, and itchy or watery eyes.
Pollen In Mississippi
If you find your sinuses are acting up between the months of March and May, you may be allergic to specific pollens. Tree pollen that causes seasonal allergies in the southeast throughout these three months includes birch, cedar, cottonwood, elm, and pine. Allergies to oak, pecan, maple, and mulberry pollen begins in April. Plantain weeds and Bermuda grass are also common pollen allergies that begin causing reactions in April.
How Do I Know If I’m Allergic?
There are several ways to test allergies, the most common being a skin prick. The allergen being tested is pricked into your skin and if a red bump—similar to that of a mosquito bite—appears, then the allergy is confirmed. This can be a somewhat long and tedious process. However, at TrustCare Express Medical Clinic, we use a method called in vitro testing, which simply means the test is performed outside the body. We draw one sample of blood, have the blood tested in a lab, and within 24 hours the results show exactly what you are allergic to. This is a much simpler way to test for multiple allergens at one time and the results are consistent with that of skin prick testing. In fact, the test at our urgent care clinics is specific to our region and focuses on the environmental allergies most common in Mississippi.
Treatment For Allergies
For some allergies like pet dander or specific foods, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is avoidance. However, during specific seasons when pollen or mold is everywhere, it is very difficult to avoid it completely. Some people find relief from medication such as an antihistamine or a decongestant, while others prefer to receive an allergy shot to minimize symptoms. But an over-the-counter medication will not help you build a tolerance to the allergy, and there are several risks involved with the allergy shot. One of our treatment options at TrustCare Express Medical Clinic is a sublingual allergy drop that is highly effective in reducing symptoms and building a long-term tolerance to the allergen. In turn, this will reduce the amount of future doctor visits due to allergic reactions, decrease the amount of money spent on treatments, and give you a safe and convenient way to manage your allergies.
If you want to avoid the annoyance and discomfort that seasonal allergies bring, then stop by one of our locations for an allergy test today. A trusted walk-in clinic, TrustCare Express Medical Clinic will help you get ahead of the allergy game and determine the treatment plan that is right for you.