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is it a virus or allergy

Do you ever wonder if your runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, body aches sore throat, yellow-green drainage or sneezing might be symptoms of viral illness or bacterial sinusitis? These symptoms may leave you feeling sick without an idea of what you are experiencing, or how to treat it. You may feel compelled to call your doctor for a dose of antibiotics or to run to the store for some over-the-counter cold medicine. But what if neither of these options helped ease your symptoms? If this has happened to you, you may be one of the 24 million Americans suffering from seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between viral illness and seasonal allergies because the symptoms of these two conditions are so similar. The experts at Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists have put together this guide to help you understand if you may be suffering from allergic rhinitis, and how to treat the pesky symptoms of this condition as they arise.

How to Know if You’re Suffering From Seasonal Allergies

Though the only way to truly confirm whether or not you suffer from allergic rhinitis is to speak with a qualified allergist, there are several things you can look out for that can give clues about whether or not you may be dealing with this condition.

Think about when your symptoms commonly appear. Are you typically feeling sick or feverish during the spring and summertime? Do these symptoms tend to occur at the same time every year? If the answer is yes, it is likely that you are a seasonal allergy sufferer.

Another clue that you may be dealing with seasonal allergies is the conditions that may cause your symptoms. If you notice yourself feeling sick with congestion, headaches, or a sore throat after spending time outside during the spring or summer, it’s likely that the cause of these symptoms is seasonal allergies. These symptoms may also occur after you are exposed to damp, dusty, or moldy areas such as an old basement or dirty attic.

One final clue that you may have seasonal allergies is your genetics. If other members of your family suffer from allergies, asthma, or eczema, it is likely that you may also be dealing with one or more of these conditions. Allergies and their related conditions tend to run in families, so be on the lookout this allergy season for the symptoms in your family members.

What Do I Do if I Suffer From Seasonal Allergies?

Luckily, if you’re dealing with a bout of seasonal allergies, there are several over-the-counter allergy medicines that can help ease symptoms. Antihistamines like Claritin, Allegra and Zyrtec and nonaddictive nasal steroid sprays like Flonase, Rhinocort or Nasacort can help tremendously. Remember to read the labels on these medicines, follow proper dosage instructions, and keep a close eye out for any warnings associated with them.

If your allergy symptoms persist or you are concerned about their impact on your overall health, don’t hesitate to contact a doctor. The skilled allergists at Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists can provide consultations and allergy testing that will assess your condition and determine the best plan of action for your needs. Call us today at 804-285-7420 or visit our website to get on the right track for your allergy treatment.

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