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Spring Cold or Spring Allergies: What Allergy Testing Can Tell You

Do you often find yourself sneezing, coughing, or scratching your eyes? Perhaps you’ve noticed dark circles around your eyes despite getting plenty of sleep. Some symptoms of the common cold can overlap with allergies, causing you to suffer from frequent allergic reactions without knowing what’s causing the discomfort. 

Each time you get exposed to allergens, your immune system produces antibodies, which cause allergy symptoms. To help you determine whether you have a simple cold or an allergic reaction, our specialist, Dr. Rakesh Chugh, put together a short guide on spring allergies. Read on to learn how allergies manifest and what allergy testing can tell you.

How allergy testing is done

There are a variety of plants and trees that can cause allergic reactions in the spring. By administering a skin prick test, which involves using a needle to scratch your skin with a potential diluted allergen, Dr. Chugh can test for at least 40 allergens at once.

If you’re allergic to one or several of the substances, you’ll develop a small red bump. Severe allergic reactions are rare. If they do occur when you get tested at our office, we’re equipped to treat severe allergic reactions.

During allergy testing, you’ll also get insight on whether eating, breathing in, or touching each substance causes an allergic reaction. 

Common allergens that appear in the spring

The most common spring allergen is pollen. There are more than a dozen known trees that can cause allergic reactions due to their pollen. If you experience sneezing, difficulty breathing out your nose, itchy eyes, or other bothersome symptoms when it’s windy and warm outside, it could be pollen causing your issues. 

On rainy or cloudy days, your symptoms may improve if there isn’t enough wind to carry the pollen.

Mold is another common cause of spring allergies. However, you don’t need to have indoor mold in order to suffer from allergies because mold is also found outside — in the soil, plants, or next to rotten wood. Molds are small fungi related to mushrooms. Like pollen, the fungi has seeds (spores) that you can carry into your home. 

What happens if you ignore your allergies 

Mild allergies usually don’t cause any issues on their own, but since they tend to cause inflammation, something as common as allergic rhinitis can lead to ear infections.

Allergies are also known to cause poor sleep and lethargy, and they can decrease performance at school or work. In rare instances, repeat exposure to allergens can worsen allergic reactions.

If you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms that won’t go away and suspect an allergy is to blame, contact us by phone or online booking to schedule an appointment for allergy testing at our office in Tinley Park, Illinois. We can help identify your allergens and give you expert advice on how to avoid them.

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