If you tend to get “colds” that develop suddenly and occur at the same time every year, it’s possible that you actually have seasonal allergies. Although colds and seasonal allergies may share some of the same symptoms, they are very different.
The Mayo Clinic suggests, common colds are caused by viruses, while seasonal allergies are immune system responses triggered by exposure to allergens, such as seasonal tree or grass pollens.
Treatment of a common cold may include rest, pain relievers and over-the-counter cold remedies, such as decongestants. A cold usually lasts three to 10 days, although some may last as long as two or three weeks.
Treatment of seasonal allergies may include over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays and decongestants, and avoidance of exposure to allergens where possible. Seasonal allergies may last several weeks.
Not sure if your symptoms are a result of a cold or if they’re allergies? Check out the symptom chart below!
Here are a few tips provided by National Jewish Health to help ease your symptoms so that you can better enjoy the spring season.
- Avoid being outdoors on windy days, especially mid-morning to mid-afternoon, when pollen counts are often highest. If you must be out, cover your mouth with a scarf or an allergen mask.
- Keep car and home windows and doors closed, and avoid using electric fans inside the home, which can kick up pollen into the air.
- After returning from outdoors, shower, wash your hair and change your clothing.
- When cleaning, use caution with household cleaning products. Make sure the area to be cleaned is well ventilated. Never mix cleansers such as bleach, disinfectants and deodorizers with ammonia products, either in the bucket or on the surface to be cleaned.
- It is best if non-allergic family members or others do the cleaning. Try to be out of the house during all cleaning, especially during carpet cleaning.
- Avoid being outside when fertilizers and pesticides are applied to the lawns, trees or shrubs in your neighborhood. If you garden, arrange for someone else to remove the leaves and branches that may have collected in your yard or hedges. This type of garbage usually has mold and other particles that can trigger your asthma.
Allergens Common To Colorado
According to Mold Testing Colorado, there are 3 spring allergens you want to avoid in Colorado; Plants & Trees, Grasses and Fungus.
Plants & Trees
The main trees that will have allergy effects for most hayfever suffers include, Crack Willow, Gambel’s Oak, Narrow-Leaf Willow, Purple Willow, and Western Poison-Ivy. If you know what these trees look like, you will find it much easier to prepare for when they are coming into flower. Spring is when these trees flower the most, however some of them like the Box Elder and Ash-Leaf Maple are severe allergens all year-round.
It is common to see some plant species flowering through off-seasons, especially during unusual weather conditions. Common flowering weeds found in the region that also create severe allergies are Annual Ragweed, Deer-Root , Four-Wing Saltbush, Great Ragweed, Silverscale, Skeleton-Leaf Burr-Ragweed, Wedge-Leaf Orache, and White Sagebrush.
Grasses found in Colorado that produce severe allergens include Bermuda grass, Common Timothy, Orchard Grass, Red Fescue, and Spreading Bent Grass. Although the blossoming period for any specific type may be fairly widespread, the pollination period itself (or the sneeze fest) is typically shortened.
One of the other common causes of allergies and hayfever in Colorado, is actually not a tree, grass or weed, it is in fact mold, which is a fungus. With exposure even in small amounts mold may cause: sinus infections, asthma, skin rash, chronic fatigue, respiratory problems, headaches & nose & throat irritation, most of which can quite easily be falsely self-diagnosed as hayfever symptoms.
If your allergies flare up, it might not actually be strictly limited to the effects of pollen, but could in fact be caused by levels of mold that rise with the warmer air. Allergic reactions to mold are common, and can be immediate or delayed. People diagnosed with allergies and asthma may be very sensitive to mold.
Unfortunately mold is one of the leading causes of hayfever and other illnesses; however it’s one allergen you can get rid of, with the help of some professionals.
Where To Go
If you are suffering from a cold or seasonal allergies, Advanced Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine is here for you! You can visit any of our seven locations, to start receiving high-quality treatment fast! To check wait times and get in line, click here.