Tips to keep in mind when dealing with seasonal allergies
It's that time of the year people look forward to and enjoy: Spring. This season has many of us indulging in popular activities like hiking, swimming and even outdoor games with the family: however, seasonal allergies can ruin the fun. Some of us suffer from a runny nose, sneezing and congestion - common symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Daniel Sullivan is board certified in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and an ENT with Health First medical group. The spring and fall are the peak times of year for outdoor pollen surges.
Here are a few tips Dr. Sullivan suggests you keep in mind when it comes to dealing with seasonal allergies:
Prevention: Taking antihistamines and allergy nasal sprays can help prevent some of the symptoms or, at least, lessen them. There is no way to completely avoid outdoor pollen, but the medications are good for symptom control.
Relief: There are a number of options. A facemask can help when doing yardwork. Antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays help control symptom responses.
Seek medical help: If your symptoms are poorly controlled with over-the-counter medication, then allergy testing and a consultation with an allergist can help. Allergy injections can be very effective. There are a number of prescription options that may work better than over-the-counter choices. Testing can help identify the causes and help better predict reactions.
Misconceptions: Most Floridians do not realize that spring allergies start in January. As soon as there is a hint of warm weather, the trees start blooming, releasing pollen in the air. The other misconception is forgetting that the wind often blows pollen from quite a distance. Pollen from orange groves in the Orlando area can blow into Brevard County with a westerly wind, for example.
Pet allergies: Seasonal allergies are not separate from animal and perennial allergies. Therefore, dust, dog and cat allergies can intensify symptoms. Many people do not realize they are allergic to their pets until testing shows that they are. Allergy injections are very helpful for improving pet allergies. I never, however, suggest anyone give up his or her beloved pet.
Visit myHFMG.org to schedule an appointment with a Health First provider.