Seasonal allergies: why you need the flu vaccination

Should you get a flu vaccination

Seasonal allergies: why you need the flu vaccination

With winter quickly approaching, the public is already suffering from runny noses, coughs, and colds. But sometimes these symptoms can be more than the common cold; they could be signs of the flu. But what exactly is the flu and how does it differ from your run of the mill common cold?

What is it?

The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory illness that is most common during the winter. There are three types: A, B, and C.

  • Type A: This type of flu is the culprit behind significant outbreaks that occur every few years. Unlike B and C, A type flu infects both humans and animals, such as wild birds.
  • Type B: Less common than A and only found in humans.
  • Type C: Not as dangerous as B and A, and unlikely to cause an epidemic.

Although colds and the flu are both contagious and have similar side effects, the difference is that you may experience a fever, body aches, and exhaustion for a prolonged length of time with the flu. Another sign that you may have the flu is that, unlike a common illness, it can seem to come on out of nowhere.

Other symptoms include:

  • Dry, chesty cough
  • A sore throat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea or being sick

At risk groups

Although plenty of rest, water, and pain medication can help to treat your flu, it’s recommended that the public have the flu vaccination. Especially if you have allergies.

People with allergies may have a weakened immune system, making them an at-risk group. Other groups that the vaccination is recommended to include:

  • People suffering from chronic illnesses
  • Those who are pregnant
  • People over the age of 65

Allergies

Unfortunately, the flu vaccination isn’t safe for everyone. As the vaccination is made using egg, this may put people who have an egg allergy at risk of an allergic reaction.

If you have allergies, be sure to talk to your GP before getting the vaccination so that you aren’t at risk. If you haven’t yet been diagnosed with allergies, but want to get the flu vaccination, an allergy test may be a good idea so that you can rule out further illness, especially if you suspect that you have an allergy to vaccination ingredients like eggs.

In the past, individuals with an egg allergy were discouraged from having the flu vaccination, but experts say that might not be the best course of action. If you’re concerned, it’s best to discuss your allergy with your GP. Under the care of a professional, a flu vaccination may still be the right option if the allergy isn’t life-threatening.

To prevent the spread of the flu, you should wash your hands regularly, use tissues when you sneeze or cough, and avoid being around people with flu or cold symptoms.

The winter can be stressful enough without allergies and conditions like asthma or eczema being added to the mix. To protect yourself, we highly recommend allergy tests; this can help to determine whether symptoms are allergens or the flu, as symptoms such as runny noses or itchy eyes are common in both.

If you think that you have allergies, why not test yourself at home? Request a home test kit or contact one of our consultants today to find out more.

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