Unfortunately, many people suffer from allergies. Seasonal and environmental allergies are common, and they can cause a range of symptoms, from itchy eyes and a runny nose to hives and difficulty breathing.
But can allergies give you a fever?
Read more to learn about the link between allergies and fever and other possible causes of high temperature.
Does Hay Fever Cause Fever?
Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, does not cause actual fevers. Allergic rhinitis primarily affects the nose and sinuses rather than body temperature, and symptoms tend to stay localized to this area. However, it's common for hay fever sufferers to experience a "head cold" along with their allergy symptoms.
This can lead to a fever as the body fights off the infection.
Common Allergy Symptoms
There are plenty of symptoms that seasonal allergies can cause, the specifics of which will differ depending on the person and what they are allergic to.
In general, though, some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
- Watering eyes
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy nose
- Difficulty breathing
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Rashes or hives
What Causes A Fever With Allergy Symptoms?
While allergies themselves may not cause fevers, they can increase your body's vulnerability to contracting illnesses that do. For example, if you have a weakened immune system due to allergic rhinitis, you may be more susceptible to developing a bacterial or viral infection like the common cold.
These infections can cause the symptom of fever to occur along with allergic reactions.
Other illnesses, such as strep throat and ear infections, can also be exacerbated by hay fever, causing fever and allergy symptoms to coexist. In these cases, the underlying infection is responsible for the fever rather than the allergies.
Fevers result from your body working overtime to fight off infection. The cause of the infection is dependent on your situation. The following are a few of the most common causes of fever.
Bacterial Infections (Sinusitis and Conjunctivitis)
Bacterial infections are a type of infection that is caused by bacteria. There are many different types of bacteria, and each can generate a unique set of symptoms. They typically enter the body through the nose and eyes and can cause infections such as sinusitis and conjunctivitis. These infections usually result in a fever and other symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and coughing.
The most common way to contract a bacterial infection is through contaminated food or water, which is why washing your hands and cooking your food properly is so important. However, there are other ways to come in contact with bacteria. For example, you can get a bacterial infection from being around someone who is sick or from touching a contaminated surface.
Viruses differ from bacteria because they cannot grow or reproduce on their own. Instead, they need to hijack the cells of another living organism in order to survive and multiply. This process usually results in the host organism, in this case, you, becoming sick.
There are many different types of viruses that can cause various symptoms. Here are some of the most common:
The Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system, which includes the nose, throat, and sinuses. It is caused by one of many different types of viruses, the most common being the rhinovirus. Common cold symptoms typically include a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and a sore throat. These symptoms can last up to two weeks, and while they are usually not serious, they can be frustrating.
The Flu (Influenza)
The flu is a virus that is spread through the air, and it can cause a fever, as well as other symptoms such as sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. The flu is different from a cold because it is usually more severe and can result in complications such as pneumonia.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus. It is similar to other coronaviruses, such as the common cold and SARS-CoV, but it is more severe. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and in some cases, a sore throat, body aches, and loss of taste and smell. The virus is thought to spread through contact with respiratory droplets, such as those from coughing or sneezing.
How to Treat A Fever
Although fevers can be caused by many different things, they're generally treatable with the same methods. The most important thing to do when you have a fever is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. This will help your body fight off whatever infection it's dealing with and speed up the recovery process.
You can also do a few other things to help relieve the symptoms of a fever. For example, you can take over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help reduce pain and inflammation. You can also use a humidifier to help relieve congestion.
When to See a Doctor
If your fever is accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or severe abdominal pain, it's important to seek medical treatment immediately. These could be signs of a more serious condition, such as pneumonia or meningitis, which would require medical intervention.
In general, it's also a good idea to seek treatment from a doctor if your fever lasts for more than three days or spikes to a very high temperature (104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher). Fevers this high can be dangerous, so it's best to err on the side of caution and get checked out.
How to Diagnose Allergies
If your fever is fairly mild and accompanied by common symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose, you're likely dealing with a runoff head cold from allergies. To be sure, you'll need to get tested and diagnosed by a professional.
Skin Prick Test
Skin prick testing is conducted in a doctor's office and is the most common way to test for allergies. During the test, a small amount of an allergen is pricked into your skin to observe and track any allergic reaction. If you are allergic to any tested substances, you will likely develop bumps or hives at the injection site.
At-Home Allergy Test
If you're looking for a less painful, more convenient alternative to prick testing, an at-home kit may be your best option. Here's how it works:
- Order Wyndly's at-home allergy test: We'll ship our CLIA-certified test to your doorstep within days.
- Administer the allergy test and send it back: Take a quick finger prick to draw a small blood sample and mail it back to the return address when you're done.
- Receive your personal allergy profile: Wyndly's team of experienced doctors will interpret your results, turn them into an allergy profile and walk you through a personalized treatment plan.
The best part about Wyndly's at-home testing is that it can offer insight into the full breadth of your allergies. Results will detail exactly what substances you're reactive to and the steps you can take to mitigate the symptoms.
How to Treat Seasonal Allergies
If you find yourself struggling with allergies and the symptoms that come along with them, there are a few things you can do to get some relief.
Limiting exposure to your allergy triggers is one of the most effective ways to prevent allergy symptoms. While some allergens are difficult to completely avoid, there are ways to reduce your exposure.
- Check pollen counts: Pollen is the most common allergy trigger. Unfortunately, there's no way to avoid it completely. However, you can keep an eye on pollen levels in your area and try to limit your time outdoors on high-pollen days.
- Watch your outdoor hours: Pollen levels fluctuate throughout the day and are often highest in the early morning and afternoon. If you're planning on going outside during the day, doing so during the evening is safest.
- Keep windows closed: Pollen is airborne and can easily enter your home through an open window. Be sure to keep your windows shut and opt for A/C, especially during high-pollen count days.
- Take shoes off: You can track pollen into your home on your clothing and shoes. Be sure to take your shoes off as soon as you step inside to keep pollen levels down.
- Wipe off pets: Your pets can also track pollen into your home. Give them a quick wipe-down before they come inside to minimize the amount of pollen in your home.
- Clean your home: Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help remove pollen from carpets and upholstered furniture. Be sure to do this regularly, especially during allergy season when levels are highest.
- Wash off when you get home: If you've been outside during the day, be sure to take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed. This will help to remove any pollen that may be on your body and clothing.
- Do laundry more often: Do laundry frequently during allergy season to avoid pollen build-up on your clothes. Also, opt to use a dryer instead of leaving them on a line outside.
If mitigatory measures aren't doing the trick, you may need to turn to medication for some relief. OTC medications are widely accessible and generally effective in managing most allergy symptoms for short-term relief. Here are some potential options:
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines block histamine, a chemical your body releases in response to an allergen. While antihistamines are a popular allergy treatment, they only temporarily block the release of histamine.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are specifically designed to target runny and stuffy noses caused by allergic rhinitis. They reduce inflammation in the nasal cavity to temporarily diminish swelling and congestion.
- Eye drops: Eye drops can be used to help with itchy and watery eyes that are common among allergy sufferers.
- Prescriptions: If OTC allergy medications fail to relieve your allergy symptoms adequately, you may need to see a doctor for a prescription-strength medication.
Sublingual immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that gradually exposes your body to your allergy triggers. Over time this allows your immune system to become desensitized to the allergen, which reduces your symptoms.
Sublingual immunotherapy is administered in the form of allergy drops or tablets that are placed under the tongue. These can be self-administered in the comfort of your home, making them a convenient and effective option for managing allergic rhinitis.
Take Our Allergy Assessment
If you're struggling to manage your seasonal allergies, consider immunotherapy. Wyndly offers an easy and convenient way to get started. Simply take our allergy assessment today to see if you are a candidate!