Jul 17, 2019 | Updated: 10:03 AM EDT

How to Minimize the Misery of Allergy Season

Apr 04, 2019 09:23 AM EDT

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Lady with allergies
(Photo : Image from Pexels)

If you suffer from allergies, springtime, for you, may not be the most glorious and amazing time that others tend to experience. Instead, it may be a few weeks-if not months-of complete misery by way of itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and wheezing. That's because every spring, trees, and grasses release billions of buoyant pollen granules into the air, using the wind to disburse across the countryside in an effort to reproduce.

And as if that's not bad enough, experts say that due to climate change, the allergy season is likely to become longer with even more pollen. "Fueled by warmer temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels, pollen seasons are longer, and pollen counts are higher." Says Kara Wada a clinical assistant professor in Allergy/Immunology at The Ohio State University. Many experts believe this will worsen in the coming years due in large part to climate change.

So how can we make allergy season just a little more bearable? Well, if you're allergic, it may require a multifaceted approach. Here is a list of ideas to help minimize the misery of allergy season and some that may help on a long-term basis-being as allergy season is looking to extend its stay.

  • Find out what allergens are causing your symptoms. Take note of when your symptoms start by making a note in a calendar or planner.
  • Minimize exposure to allergens. Track pollen counts. When pollen counts are high, keep the windows closed at home and in the car. After spending time outdoors, shower and change clothing to prevent ongoing exposure to pollen.
  • Take a pro-active approach to treating symptoms. Starting medications before symptoms develop can prevent symptoms from getting out of control. This can also decrease the amount of medication needed overall. Long-acting non-sedating antihistamines are helpful for itching and sneezing. Nasal corticosteroid sprays are more helpful for stuffy noses.
  • Consider a visit to see a board-certified allergist/immunologist. She or he can help you determine which particular pollens maybe the source of your symptoms.
  • Explore the role of immunotherapy with your doctor. Immunotherapy changes the immune response through the administration of small regimented doses of allergens over time. This induces a state of tolerance, eventually helping people become less allergic over time.

Pollen season is rapidly approaching; these tips will hopefully allow you to enjoy the next few weeks a little more. After all, spring is such a lovely time of year. Needless to say, I don't have allergies.

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