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Allergies: Signs and Symptoms

Allergy Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments

Springtime in Alabama usually triggers seasonal allergies, as the air fills with pollen from trees, grasses, and flowering plants. But the fact is, allergies can creep up at any time, depending on specific allergies. And sometimes the symptoms can be easy to ignore, especially when they mimic a simple cold.

So what are the most common allergy symptoms?

● Itchy eyes, nose, or throat

● Chronic sinus infections (sinusitis)

● Watery eyes

● Runny nose

● Chest congestion

● Nasal congestion

It can be challenging to differentiate between a cold and seasonal allergies, especially when dealing with children. If symptoms persist beyond a week, it may be wise to visit a physician for allergy testing to be sure.

What Are Common Allergens by Season?

One way to differentiate seasonal allergies from ordinary cold symptoms is the timing. If your child consistently develops cold-like symptoms at the same time of year, every year, it may be allergies. Symptoms may appear in more than one season, depending on the specific allergens. Here are some of the most common irritants by season:

Spring allergens. New growth and buds on trees are very much to blame for many of the seasonal allergies in the spring, including oak, juniper, olive, maple, elder, birch, and alder.

Summer allergens. Grasses and weeds are the most common culprits, including grasses such as Bermuda, orchard, Johnson, timothy, and sweet vernal. Weeds can also cause seasonal allergies including English plantain and Russian thistle.

Fall allergens. The main irritant during the autumn months is ragweed.

Treatment options

The most common first step – after you’ve ruled out other possible causes – is to treat allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medication. Allergy eye drops and nasal sprays can help with specific symptoms, while antihistamines can help address nearly all symptoms at once from common environmental allergens such as:

Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds

Pet dander from animals like cats and dogs

Dust mites


Over time, some non-prescription options may become less effective. The shift to routine allergy shots might be the best option for adults and children over age 6 who no longer get relief from over-the-counter medications. Allergy shots may also be a possible next step for people who want to reduce their reliance on these medications in the long term.

Shots may also be prescribed for people with a history of life-threatening allergic reactions to venoms from stinging insects, such as wasps, bees, yellow jackets, and hornets. Of course, testing is required for either type of shots, and it’s important to note that allergy shots may not be a safe option for people with certain conditions, such as uncontrolled asthma or for those taking certain medications such as beta blockers.

Where to go for treatment

Whether you’re still in the early stages of managing allergies for your child or you’ve been dealing with them for a while, the physicians at FirstKids Urgent Care can provide allergy evaluation, testing, and treatment onsite. FirstKids Urgent Care is a fully staffed, walk-in facility serving the Tuscaloosa areas, so there’s no appointment necessary. Once we have an allergy treatment plan in place, you can drop in as needed for routine care, shots or other treatment options. Of course, you can also schedule an appointment if you prefer. Schedule your visit in advance by clicking here.

The professional staff at FirstKids is prepared to provide routine or urgent care for children of all ages. The clinic also accepts all major insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and self-pay patients. Help your little one breathe easier with proper allergy treatment, and let FirstKids help you facilitate your child’s best and healthiest life.

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