SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For many of us, as the seasons change so do our allergies.
Seasonal allergies can display with various symptoms, leaving you guessing whether it’s just allergies or something more serious.
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year according to the CDC. Grace Arneson is one of those people. She typically sees a rise in symptoms when summer arrives.
“It gets hard to sleep sometimes with that stuffy clogged up nose, and headaches,” Arneson said.
In addition to Arneson’s symptoms, Dr. Nikki Patel says watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and draining in the back of the throat are the most common symptoms.
As the weather slowly heats up in KELOLAND, Patel says she’s seeing an influx of patients seeking help on how to treat their allergies.
“You can develop at anytime from young childhood to adulthood, for some people it’s outdoor pollen, some people unfortunately suffer from allergies due to dust and cat and dog which is all year round,” Patel said.
Arneson says she developed allergies in high school, adding that her dad also deals with them.
“I take a pill, but my father does a spray and a pill,” Arneson said.
Doctors suggest an over-the-counter medicine when allergies strike, but if your symptoms don’t get better it may be time for a trip to the clinic.
That’s because your allergies may be more severe and require a prescription to treat, or it could turn into something more serious.
“The number one cause of recurrent sinus infection is uncontrolled allergies and usually for people if they’re that bad that they’re getting recurrent sinus infections they made need something stronger than what over the counter meds would help them with,” Patel said.
And if you’re not sure if it’s allergies or just a cold, Patel says you can usually tell the difference by the duration and symptoms.
“Sometimes with a cold you’ll have fever and muscle aches which are consistent with a viral infection, and also the duration. A cold should get better within 5 to 7 days, whereas allergies will stay throughout the entire season, or if you suffer all year round throughout the entire year,” Patel said.
If you’re still unsure, Patel says getting a second opinion from your doctor on what exactly you’re dealing with may be the best course of action.
For more information on over the counter allergy medications, click here.