INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If your allergies have been making you miserable, you're not alone. Doctors across central Indiana are seeing more patients with severe allergy symptoms.
A long winter is likely the cause of sudden onset allergy symptoms. Doctors said some patients' symptoms are so severe that many are showing up in emergency rooms.
Doctors said it's rare to need emergency help for allergy symptoms and most symptoms can be treated by over-the-counter allergy medications
"Nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, they sometimes get a sore throat because of draining from your nose going down the back of your throat, watery eyes," said Dr. Geoffrey Billows, Medical Director for IMS.
If you have trouble breathing or have symptoms that get worse or don't improve over time, you should go to the doctor. You should also avoid being outside during high pollen times.
Sometimes allergy symptoms feel like the cold or flu. Here's how to know the difference:
|Fever||Rare||Usual, high (100-102 °F), sometimes higher, especially in young children); lasts 3-4 days||Never|
|General Aches, Pains||Slight||Usual; often severe||Never|
|Fatigue, Weakness||Sometimes||Usual, can last up to 3 weeks||Sometimes|
|Extreme Exhaustion||Never||Usual, at the beginning of the illness||Never|
|Stuffy, Runny Nose||Common||Sometimes||Common|
|Cough||Common||Common, can become severe||Sometimes|
|Chest Discomfort||Mild to moderate||Common||Rare, except for those with allergic asthma|
|Treatment||Get plenty of rest.
Stay hydrated. (Drink plenty of fluids.)
Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches and pains
|Get plenty of rest.
Aspirin (ages 18 and up), acetaminophen, or ibuprofen for aches, pains, and fever
Antiviral medicines (see your doctor)
|Avoid allergens (things that you’re allergic to)
|Prevention||Wash your hands often.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold.
|Get the flu vaccine each year.
Wash your hands often.
Avoid close contact with anyone who has the flu.
|Avoid allergens, such as pollen, house dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches.|
|Complications||Sinus infection middle ear infection, asthma||Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening||Sinus infection, middle ear infection, asthma|
Courtesy: NIH News in Health: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services