Fighting the Springtime Allergies

Happy Spring! For some of you, spring may not be such a happy time with your spring-time allergies. Miserable allergy symptoms include sneezing; a stuffy or runny nose; itchy and watery eyes; and for those of you with asthma as well, possible shortness of breath and wheezing. These symptoms range from minimally annoying to disabling at worse. Thankfully there are several treatment options that are now available over the counter. Non-sedating anti-histamines and sedating anti-histamines are good choices with minimal side affects depending on your needs. These medications should generally help the various allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter anti-histamine eye drops can be helpful for eye allergy symptoms. Prescription eye drops may be required in some cases, but can be expensive. An inhaled nasal spray may be prescribed by your doctor for severe symptoms. Over-the-counter allergy nasal sprays should not be use for more than about three days at a time as they can actually worsen your allergy symptoms.

To avoid allergy symptoms, try wearing a mask (available in drugstores) while doing yard work or housecleaning, keep your doors and windows closed during allergy season, and use an air conditioner in your house and car to help filter the air. Vacuum carpets, curtains and soft furniture frequently and dust hard floors and hard furniture with a damp mop or cloth. Bathe everyday to remove pollens and other allergens from your hair and skin.

I hope this information helps you fight your allergy symptoms and makes allergy season a little more tolerable!

– Frank Warda, MD

Please note: No advice is intended to be specific for you. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any kind of medication or changing your physical activity.