Tips for Keeping Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Check
An expert from Health First Medical Group shares how to handle the season
Runny nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes — all this means you are probably one of the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.
These allergies are the body’s immune response to inhaled pollen that varies with the seasons.
Springtime in Florida can be particularly challenging for allergy sufferers as pollen from trees, weeds and grasses trigger symptoms.
Most Floridians start dealing with the miseries of spring allergies in January, when there is a hint of warm weather and the trees start blooming and releasing pollen in the air.
If you are an allergy sufferer, there are things you can do to prevent some symptoms and relieve others — so you don’t have to give up enjoying outdoor activities this spring.
Taking over-the-counter antihistamines can provide relief from mild seasonal allergy symptoms.
Nasal sprays and saline eye drops can also offer some symptom relief as they help get pollen out of your nasal passages and eyes.
There is no way to completely avoid outdoor pollen, but these types of medications can help you deal with some of your symptoms.
Other tips for helping you ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Wear a face mask when doing yard work to limit the amount of pollen that gets into your respiratory passages, and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes
- Close your windows to keep pollen out of your house
- Avoid tracking pollen into your house by removing your shoes and changing your clothes when you come in from outdoor activities
- Dust and vacuum regularly to help keep pollen at bay
If your symptoms are poorly controlled with over-the-counter medication, then allergy testing and a consultation with an allergist can help determine if you have seasonal allergies and the types of pollen you’re allergic to.
Seasonal allergies are not separate from animal and perennial allergies. That means dust, dog and cat allergies can intensify your symptoms.
Testing can help identify causes, better predict reactions and more effectively treat symptoms.
After examination, your allergist can recommend appropriate allergy injections that can help subdue symptoms. There are also prescription options that might work better for you than over-the-counter choices.
Don’t let allergy symptoms keep you indoors this spring. Try some of the tips outlined above to manage your seasonal allergies.
If over-the-counter medications and pollen-proofing yourself and your environment don’t provide relief, be sure to see an allergist to formulate a treatment plan to keep your seasonal allergy symptoms in check.
Dr. Sullivan is board certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. He is an ENT with Health First Medical Group.