Allergy Season Has Begun

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So it’s begun… allergy season. Both my husband and I have horrible allergies. He’s worse than me. Since we have moved we have noticed fewer allergies in the spring/summer. We thought maybe we were off the hook for the fall but alas it has begun.

There are a number of ways to control your allergy symptoms such as: Nasal saline, decongestants and over the counter or prescription antihistamines.

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Ragweed is vastly becoming one of the worst culprits as it continues to get stronger each year in the US. Here’s the 411 on this sneaky troublemaker!

  • Ragweed is nearly impossible to avoid, so it’s best to learn how to protect yourself from the symptoms it causes. It is estimated that a single ragweed plant can release 1 billion pollen grains during the fall season.
  • Ragweed is a plant of the daisy family. Its green flowers produce abundant amounts of pollen so it is best to learn how to protect yourself from hay fever.
  • Ragweed allergy season seems to begin in early August, through mid-October.
  • There are 17 different species of ragweed in the U.S.

Some more tips on how to deal with allergy season:

  • Check out a previous article I wrote on the differences between Colds Vs. Allergies HERE!
  • In the early fall, keep your windows closed from 10am to 4pm. This will reduce your exposure to allergens like ragweed.
  • Clean and change air filters every three months to reduce the amount of dirt, debris, and allergens that you come in contact with every day.
  • Avoid window fans! While convenient, they tend to bring in unwanted pollens or mold spores.
  • In the fall, we start pulling out cozy quilts when it gets cold. But these can be the home to dust mites, causing your allergies to become enflamed. Wash your bedding every two weeks to help ease allergy symptoms.

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CVS’s MinuteClinic website has tons of information on allergies among other things. To find a MinuteClinic near you or to learn more visit HERE!

*Disclosure – The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was provided a CVS gift card as compensation for this post.

The Difference Between Colds vs. Allergies – CVS MinuteClinic #SneezeFreeSpring

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Achoo! Excuse me. Well it’s that time of year. The seasons are changing and there is a lot of sneezing, itchy eyes going on in our house. My husband and I both have horrible allergies. Mine are more seasonal. His are seasonal but he is also allergic to a number of other things. Which is why with our renovations we got rid of the carpet and refinished the hard wood floors. Less allergens that way.

Usually at some point in April I wake up and think I have a horrible cold or that I’m on the verge of a sinus infection. It turns out it is always allergies. I’ve been lucky that if I wake up feeling like I’m sick I’m usually fine the next day. But I always question whether or not I have a cold or not and completely freak out and say I can’t get sick I have this and that coming up. Who has time to get sick right?

Do you often wonder if it’s allergies? Here is some great info provided by MinuteClinic on allergies that will help you navigate allergy season.

The Lowdown:

What IS an allergy?

An allergy is the body’s hypersensitivity to substances in the environment. Mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and even some foods can cause allergic reactions.

What causes seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies are a reaction to small airborne substances. These allergens are small proteins that usually float around in the spring, summer and fall.

So, those springtime colds may actually be allergies?

Yes. A cold will typically clear up pretty quickly, within 7-10 days. Allergies may last weeks or even months!

Colds vs. Allergies

Did you know that 35 million Americans suffer from allergies and don’t even know it? That’s because many people confuse the symptoms of spring allergies with a common cold. Here’s what you need to know about the two:

  • The main difference between a cold and allergies is that a cold is caused by a viral infection while allergy symptoms are caused by your body’s own immune system’s attempt to fight off an allergen.
  • If you start sniffling and coughing at the same time each year and your symptoms come on suddenly, it may be allergies.
  • If you have a cough, it’s probably a cold. Most people with a cold will have a cough, but not everyone with allergies has this symptom.
  • If you’re aching all over, it’s probably a cold, not allergies. Aches and pains are not symptoms of allergies.
  • Itchy eyes are a common symptom of allergies but RARELY occur with the common cold!
  • If you have a fever, it’s not allergies! A fever is sometimes present with a cold, but will never occur with allergies.

Treatment and Relief:

How can I protect my family and myself?

Symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Nasal saline, decongestants and over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines may help relieve symptoms as well.

So, how do I get allergy relief?

There are plenty of options! At MinuteClinic, our nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend the right over-the-counter medications and write prescriptions when medically appropriate.

If you’re diagnosed with allergies, medication may help relieve your symptoms. The best way to treat allergies is to avoid the allergen – whatever it may be.

Stay on top of your allergies by following MinuteClinic on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more visit: http://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic

 

                                                                                                                             

*Disclosure – The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. I was provided a CVS gift card as compensation for this post.

It’s That Time Again, Time For Your Annual Flu Shot at CVS Minute Clinic

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Every year (usually in October) my husband and I get our annual flu vaccine at our local CVS Minute Clinic. We go there for a number of reasons. One being convenience, and another being that I’m at CVS at least once a week for something so why not grab my body wash, toothpaste and get a flu shot. Ok so maybe I get myself a special little gift like trying new makeup or something after my flu shot. I’m a big baby.

My husband and I went this year to our local Minute Clinic and Valerie the doctor that gave us our flu shots was so nice and I didn’t even feel it. Yay!

The CVS Minute Clinic offers so many things in addition to your annual flu shot. I was reading all about them while I was there. Click HERE to learn what other services they offer.

Why should you get the flu shot? CVS provided me with the Top 5 Flu Vaccination Myths below.

 

Top 5 Flu Vaccination Myths

 

M #1: It is too late to get a seasonal flu shot.

Not at all! Flu season usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as late as May so the sooner you get the shot the better. But ultimately, getting the flu shot at any time can help protect you & your loved ones. (MinuteClinic vaccinates patients 18 months and older, and are open 7 days/week with no appointment is necessary!)

M #2: The flu shot can give you the flu.

No! This is the biggest myth out there about the flu vaccine. The flu shot is made from an inactivated flu virus, so it cannot give you the flu. If you get flu-like symptoms after getting the flu shot, it’s likely because you got sick from another virus that wasn’t the flu, or you were exposed to the flu after you got vaccinated but before the vaccine took effect, which can be up to 2 weeks.

M #3. If you got the flu vaccine last year, you don’t have to get it again this year.

Wrong! It’s important to get the flu vaccine every year. Your body loses its immunity to the virus over time, and new strains of the flu appear each year. Getting vaccinated before each flu season rebuilds your immunity and protects against the strains that are predicted to be most common that season.

M #4. There are serious side effects caused by the flu vaccine.

Not at all! The only real side effect might be soreness or redness where the shot was administered.

M #5. Natural immunity or living a healthy lifestyle is better than getting immunity from the flu shot.

Not true! Eating right, exercising and getting plenty of rest can help prevent the flu, but the #1 way to avoid getting the flu is a flu vaccine. Even if you have avoided the flu in the past, it doesn’t make you less susceptible.

 

There is also tons of interesting and useful information at cdc.gov/flu.

 

*The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. CVS MinuteClinic provided me with the flu shots which were super nice of them. Just another reason why I love CVS.

CoverGirl Party with Sofia Vergara & Nervo

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I was recently invited to attend a CoverGirl event to learn all about their amazing new products. I’ve been wearing CoverGirl since I started wearing makeup, so I was thrilled to be invited to this event. Not only was I going to have the opportunity to try a bunch of fab new products but I was also going to be able to mingle with fellow bloggers as well as Sofia Vergara and Nervo.

 

You may read about the fab new products HERE!

 

But I wanted to share a bunch of photos that I took as well as a few that were provided to me.

 

I loved the relaxation lounge. Guests were invited to recharge their devices, and get a hand massage with Olay Advanced Healing Lotion which I need to run out to CVS to buy. It was super light and moisturizing. Perfect for summer!

 

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I got a manicure with the new Glosstini’s. I chose Sangria which is pictured here on the bottom.

 

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I happened to be getting my eye makeup done with the new Flamed Out collection when Nervo and Sofia did an impromptu photo session right in front of me.

 

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My makeup artist was finishing my eye makeup with Flamed Out #310 and eye crayon when Sofia happened to look at the options on the table next to me and grabbed the vibrant red I was using. I said that’s what I have on, closed my eyes to show her and she had to have it too. Here she is grabbing the color I have.

 

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Don’t worry it looks redder than it really is. Here is what it looks like on. A lot more neutral right?

 

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Nervo dropped beats.

 

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As you can see I had a fab time! And don’t forget to check out my CoverGirl blog to learn all about their new products coming out July 2013.