Gesundheit! Getting Allergy Relief When Spring Is in the Air

In late spring, pollen from trees is often the culprit in outdoor allergies. When pollen levels are high, try to stay inside with the windows closed. Pollen counts are highest early in the morning on warm, dry, windy days. Chilly, wet days tend to be easier on allergy sufferers.

Showering before bedtime can help to wash pollen off your hair and skin.

Choosing an Over-the-Counter Medicine
The best medicines will depend on your symptoms and other factors: Antihistamines, which are available over the counter (OTC) and by prescription, can relieve runny noses and itchy eyes, but they don’t help congestion. To avoid drowsiness, choose a non-sedating variety.

womansneezing1smallPrescription nasal steroid sprays can relieve congestion and most other allergy symptoms. Start using before allergy season sets in to prevent symptoms.

Decongestants are available as OTC pills, nose sprays and nose drops. They can help relieve congestion. However, they may raise blood pressure, cause anxiety and sleeplessness in some individuals. In addition, using the nose sprays or drops for more than three days can backfire causing more congestion when you stop using them.

Could Allergy Shots Help?
Allergy shots can help people who don’t get relief from allergy medicines. Ask your doctor if you might benefit from shots.

Are Asthma and Allergies Related?
Many people who have asthma also have allergies. Some people with asthma, when they are exposed to certain triggers, have allergic reactions that can make their asthma worse. Common triggers include animal dander, dust and pollen. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled, if you try reducing contact with your known allergy triggers. Sometimes allergy medicine is prescribed for people with asthma who have allergies.

Ask your doctor for guidance on managing allergies and asthma and for advice on the medications that are right for you and your symptoms. Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas website for more asthma resources.

Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for the useful information.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Management; Discovery Health

About Holly Carter

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