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Best Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Best Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Do your seasonal allergies seem worse now than they have in years past? 

It’s not your imagination. Pollen counts are on the rise, and Pennsylvania continues to rank as one of the states most affected by seasonal allergies. One of every five children and 25% of adults live with seasonal allergies – and some don’t even know it.

vybe is here to help you say goodbye to seasonal allergy suffering. Let’s take a look at what causes seasonal allergies, how to know if you have them, the best ways to treat seasonal allergies, and when to visit your nearest vybe urgent care for allergy relief.


What causes seasonal allergies?

Spring brings flowers, blooming trees, and pollen – lots and lots of pollen. 

Spring allergy season in Pennsylvania can start as early as February and last through end of May. And then the fun continues, as spring allergies to tree pollen shift into summer allergies to grasses, fall allergies to ragweed, and so on. 

Despite the cold-like symptoms they bring, seasonal allergies aren’t caused by any sort of virus. When you come in contact with pollen, ragweed, or any other substance you’re allergic to (AKA an allergen), your immune system treats it as an intruder, releasing histamines and other chemicals that spur your seasonal allergy misery.


Is allergy season getting worse?

Scientists have confirmed that warming temperatures and other environmental factors have made seasonal allergens worse in recent decades. Not only are these allergens thriving for longer periods, but they’re also reproducing at higher rates – intensifying seasonal allergy symptoms for many.


When does allergy season end in Pennsylvania?

Allergy season in Pennsylvania usually lasts until the first hard winter freeze, potentially exposing you to many months of bothersome symptoms. 


How do I know if I have seasonal allergies?

Anyone can develop seasonal allergies at any age. But you’re more likely to develop them if you have a family history of seasonal allergies, asthma, or another allergic condition.


What are symptoms of seasonal allergies?

It’s easy to understand why people often confuse seasonal allergies with colds. Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and/or throat
  • Post-nasal drip (drainage in throat)

Even a cough or ear pain could be signs of seasonal allergies instead of a cold. Come visit your nearest vybe for answers – it’s likely that you’re sneezin’ for a reason, and we can solve the mystery quickly.


What is hay fever vs. allergies?

Hay fever and seasonal allergies are one and the same. Allergic rhinitis is a medical term often used to describe seasonal allergies as well. Whatever you choose to call your condition, you will likely experience the symptoms listed above.


Can seasonal allergies affect your mood?

People with seasonal allergies may experience fatigue, difficulty concentrating, poor sleeping habits, and/or depression – which makes seeking treatment even more imperative.


What are the best ways to treat seasonal allergies?

There’s no cure for seasonal allergies, but many treatments are available to help alleviate your symptoms.

One of the most effective ways to manage your seasonal allergy symptoms is to reduce exposure to the triggers that cause them. For example, during the spring allergy season, you can:

  • Avoid mowing grass, pulling weeds, or other gardening chores that stir up allergens
  • Stay inside on dry, windy days when excess pollen is in the air
  • Wear a face mask when you go outside
  • Remove clothes and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair
  • Keep track of pollen levels in your area
  • Close all doors and windows, especially when pollen counts are high
  • Use air conditioning in your home and car

For some, avoiding allergens is enough to ease their symptoms. But many others need medications or other treatments for significant relief. A vybe clinician can evaluate your symptoms and provide you with a detailed allergy treatment plan.


What medications can I take to relieve allergy symptoms?

Many allergy medications are now available over-the-counter and typically fall into the categories of oral antihistamines, oral decongestants, and nasal sprays. No type of treatment is “better” than another – they can all be effective in their own right, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. 

  • Oral antihistamines: Examples include cetirizine (Zyrtec), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin). Antihistamines are usually recommended for symptoms like sneezing and itchy or watery eyes. 
  • Oral decongestants: Examples include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or antihistamines combined with a decongestant, such as cetirizine-pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D), fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D), and loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D). Decongestants can help relieve symptoms like nasal congestion.
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays – Examples include fluticasone propionate (Flonase), triamcinolone (Nasacort), and budesonide (Rhinocort). Nasal sprays also focus on improving nasal symptoms.  

It’s generally safe to take antihistamines every day, but long-term use of decongestants and nasal sprays can potentially worsen your symptoms. Be sure to ask your vybe clinician or another medical provider before taking any type of allergy medication for an extended period of time. 

If you are pregnant or nursing, ask what allergy medications are safe for you and your baby.


Will allergy medication cause me to gain weight?

Drowsiness, increased appetite, and weight gain are potential symptoms of antihistamines like Zyrtec and Allegra. However, your risk of gaining weight depends on many factors. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help lower your risk. 

If you need an antihistamine for seasonal allergy symptoms, your best choice may be Claritin, which has less effect on appetite. Your vybe clinician can help determine which medication options are best for you.


Can kids take allergy medications?

Some over-the-counter allergy medications are approved for children as young as six months – but not all. We recommend consulting with a vybe clinician or your pediatrician before giving your child any type of allergy medication. 

Always read labels carefully, and never give your child more than one oral antihistamine at a time unless recommended by a healthcare professional.


Are there natural remedies for seasonal allergies?

Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution (a process called nasal irrigation) or using a saline nasal spray is a simple, more natural way to flush out allergens and mucus from your nose and relieve nasal congestion. 

Other natural remedies that may help with seasonal allergies include:

  • Quercetin, a flavonoid that gives fruits and vegetables their color 
  • Vitamin C, which has some antihistamine properties
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus, the “good-for-you” bacteria often found in yogurt
  • Spirulina, a type of dried algae


Can I go to urgent care for seasonal allergies?

Yes! All vybe clinics have licensed medical professionals with a wide range of healthcare knowledge, including safe and effective allergy treatment.  At vybe, we treat allergy sufferers of all ages, including kids.


How can urgent care help allergy symptoms?

Even though there isn’t a cure for seasonal allergies, it’s still a smart idea to seek professional care. 

If you have other respiratory conditions, such as asthma, seasonal allergies can worsen your symptoms. And if you’ve never had seasonal allergies before, you may need to be tested for COVID-19 as some new variants mimic allergy symptoms. vybe can assist you with all this and more.

Are over-the-counter options not cutting it? Your vybe clinician can provide you with prescription-strength medications, specialist referrals for allergy shots (immunotherapy), and other solutions that work.


Does urgent care deal with allergic reactions?

vybe handles all things allergy-related, including allergic reactions caused by insect bites, bee stings, pet dander, food, and other triggers. From hives to rashes, vybe urgent care can treat allergic reactions that are not severe or life-threatening.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, head to your nearest ER immediately.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or throat
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea

These symptoms could indicate a more serious allergic reaction like anaphylactic shock or severe asthma – both of which require immediate medical attention.


Visit vybe for your seasonal allergy solutions

Imagine being able to enjoy time outdoors without sniffling and sneezing – vybe can make it possible! 

vybe is open seven days a week, with extended weekday evening hours for your convenience. To get started, walk in or schedule an appointment at one of vybe’s 15+ locations in Greater Philadelphia today.