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Tips for weathering worsening seasonal allergies

summerspringcovid-19allergiessneezingrespiratory illness • 2 min read • May 18, 2023 9:30:00 AM • Written by: Kat Smith

If you think of springtime as synonymous with sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, you are among the 25% of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies. Triggered by the high pollen counts of springtime, seasonal allergies can be a disruptive nuisance in your life. Unfortunately, your symptoms may only be getting worse.

Allergy season is getting longer and more intense.

After a warmer than usual winter paired with rising CO2 levels, this year’s allergy season is particularly challenging for allergy sufferers. Plants are growing larger and blooming earlier than usual, meaning that pollen season is longer and much more intense. Even those who don’t normally suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms may be experiencing some irritation as a result. Individuals living in urban areas where other pollutants are high may have even worse symptoms, as pollutants like diesel exhaust fumes help pollen infiltrate your airways.

Differentiating between allergies and COVID

When you do feel the sniffles, a sore throat, or a cough coming on, you may wonder if you’re coming down with COVID or another respiratory illness. Particularly with an Omicron COVID variant mimicking allergy symptoms, it can be hard to tell what’s causing your discomfort. Taking an at-home COVID test can be helpful, but you might also track when you feel the worst symptoms. If symptoms flare up most after you’ve been outside, seasonal allergies are likely the cause.

Finding relief from allergy symptoms

Allergy symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive, but there are ways to find relief, even in an intense pollen season.

  • Take over-the-counter allergy medications daily. These can take a few days or even weeks to become fully effective, so be consistent.
  • Reduce pollen indoors with air filters, good cleaning habits, and regularly showering after going outside.
  • Use a neti pot to clear your sinuses.
  • Avoid outdoor time in the morning and on windy days when pollen counts are highest. If you do need to go outside, wear a mask.

Visiting a doctor can also help you manage seasonal allergy symptoms and rule out other potential causes for symptoms like COVID and other respiratory illnesses. With Walmart Health Virtual Care, you can connect to a licensed medical provider right away anytime, anywhere with a convenient virtual visit.

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Kat Smith