Tips to help get you through the spring allergy season - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Tips to help get you through the spring allergy season

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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Spring allergies are among us as temperatures slowly rise in the Cape Fear area. A nurse practitioner at the CVS Minute Clinic on Market Street is offering tips that could help ease your allergy issue.

What are the signs that you may have an allergy?

• Itchy eyes and nose
• More tears than normal
• Postnatal drip
• Runny, nose, clear (like water)
• Scratchy throat
• Sneezing
• Stuffy nose

How do people know if they have allergies and not a cold?

• Viral conditions (a cold) make you tired, your nose is more stuffy and you may have a slight fever

What can be done to help seasonal allergies?

• Avoid being outdoors when pollen counts are high
• Change clothes after being outside
• Leave shoes outside since they track pollen around the house
• Don't bring clothes and shoes into the area where you sleep
• Keep windows closed and run the AC, even when it's mild
• Dust and vacuum regularly but try and get a family member who doesn't suffer from allergies to do so
• Use high-quality vacuum equipment with a high-efficiency filter. Replace bags when half full.
• Remember to change your AC filter regularly
• Consider purchasing a HEPA rated air purifier to remove allergens from the environment
• When you're not sleeping, cover pillows and mattresses with plastic
• If you have a child that suffers from allergies then you need to minimize the number of stuffed animals they have

What medications can help?

• Over the counter medications like antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops can help
• If they don't help, prescription medicines are available.
• If you find that you're struggling, MinuteClinic health care centers inside three CVS/pharmacy stores in the metro area offer treatment services for spring allergies and if it's clinically appropriate, we can provide one of those prescriptions

What can allergies lead to? Why can they be bad?

• Allergies can complicate other respiratory conditions such as asthma.
• MinuteClinic recently introduced health condition monitoring services for asthma as well as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
• So if you have asthma and your battling spring allergies, we can test for breathing and oxygen levels and offer patient education and advice to help get you through in between visits to your primary care provider

Check the pollen count in your city at: www.pollen.com

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