Sneezing, Itchy Eyes, and a Runny Nose that Won’t Quit?

June 3, 2017
Urgent Care Doctor

If what seemed like a nasty head cold at first just won’t go away, it’s probably allergies.

Allergies are very common. According to WebMD, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from some sort of allergy. And just because you were not allergic to something in the past, does not mean you are not allergic to it now.

 

What is an allergy?

Our bodies are designed to protect themselves from anything harmful that enters, or comes in contact with the skin. Allergies occur when the body mistakes the normal material for something dangerous, and reacts by releasing a chemical known as histamine. Too much histamine produces the allergy symptoms we experience.

Some allergic reactions can be very quick and hardly noticeable, and will go away once the allergen is removed. Others will stick around and make the body miserable. The most severe type of allergic reaction is known as anaphylactic shock, and this type of reaction can be very dangerous of even deadly.

 

Common allergy symptoms include:

-Itchy/Watery eyes

-Nasal drainage and/or itchy nose

-Sneezing

-Hives or skin rash

-Feeling overly tired/ill

More severe reactions could suggest your body is experiencing anaphylaxis, and require immediate medical treatment. These include:

-Chest tightness/wheezing/shortness of breath

-Nausea or vomiting

-Tingling in the lips, scalp, feet, or hands

-All-over itchiness or hives

-Swelling of the tongue or throat

If you experience any of these symptoms, and have an epinephrine auto-injector, use it immediately, then call 911. It is important to seek medical assistance even after you have administered the medicine, and even if you feel better, because symptoms may return.

 

Common allergens

While it is possible to be allergic to almost anything, there are some common categories and triggers. These include:

-Food allergies – peanuts, eggs, shellfish, milk, gluten

-Airborne allergens – Mold, dust mites, animal dander, pollen

-Skin – certain textiles, types of plants, latex

-Medicines – most commonly penicillin

-Insect bites or stings – bee stings, fire ant bites

-Allergy Treatments

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with allergies, the good news is there are several good treatments available. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can feel better with the right combination of treatments.

-Medications, such as antihistamines, either over-the-counter or from your doctor

-Nasal sprays and eye drops

-Allergy shots

-The use of air purifiers or dehumidifiers

-Mattress pads and pillow covers

-Try to “allergy-proof” your environment as much as possible

It goes without saying that it is always best to try to avoid the allergen whenever possible. In the real world, that’s often impossible. Therefore, if you are prone to severe allergic reactions, be sure to have your epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times, and inform those around you of your condition in case you are unable to speak up in an emergency.

One Response to Sneezing, Itchy Eyes, and a Runny Nose that Won’t Quit?

  1. It was interesting to learn that allergies occur when the body mistakes the normal material for something dangerous, and reacts by releasing a chemical known as histamine. I’ve been having a hard time with breathing and having a stuffy nose and watery eyes. I appreciate you letting me know that there are several good treatments available if allergies are what I have. I’ll need to look into finding a good allergy clinic I can go to.

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My son scribbled on a piece of paper and handed it to one of the woman in the front, saying that is say how his ears hurt, she accepted it and posted it on the artwork wall, when the PA came in to see him he was made to feel like a big deal because he had known about the paper. This is a place where the staff really cares about their patients and go the extra mile for them

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I was there yesterday and I've never felt so shocked. The 3 girls I interacted with were the most pleasant and friendly caregivers I've ever dealt with. Idr the rep's name, but she was quick and prompt at taking all my info and with minimal Qs (kinda hard to answer when I have a cold), then Alexis took over. Very sympathetic, nice, and helpful. Then the physician saw me and was charismatic and very funny. Trying to keep me in good spirits. It was like all 3 were happy to be at their posts and to

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