What causes seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are often associated with the elevated levels of pollen and mold spores typical of springtime. As these airborne foreign particles enter the body, they can trigger an immune system response producing symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion and trouble breathing.
What are some of the most common seasonal allergies?
Pollen, dust mites, mold and animal dander are most commonly associated with seasonal allergies, but other airborne irritants can contribute.
What are some ways to avoid seasonal allergies?
1) Avoid the outdoors when pollen and mold levels are high and use the air conditioning when possible.
2) When you’re done being outside, wash your hands thoroughly and rinse your hair to avoid buildup of allergens.
3) Have someone help with yard-work to avoid exposure to allergens, or wear a mask to help reduce the amount of allergens you’re breathing in.
4) Machine dry clothes, don’t hang them up outside to dry. Clothes and sheets drying outside can accumulate allergens.
5) Keep a clean house, vacuuming at least once a week, preferably with a double vacuum bag or one designed to help control the tiny particles associated with seasonal allergies.
What medicines should I take for allergies?
You can talk to your doctor about your symptoms and see if they believe prescription allergy medicines, steroid nasal sprays or allergy shots are a good option for you. If you only have occasional symptoms, there are a variety of over-the-counter medicines to help treat the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
They fall broadly into the following categories:
- Antihistamines, such as:
- Allegra (fexofenadine)
- Bendryl (diphenhydramine)
- Clarinex (loratadine)
- Zyrtec (ceterizine)
- Decongestants, such as:
Many of these are available as combination medicines (such as Allegra-D) or have cheaper generic versions. We have great discounted prices on the major allergy medicines and I would be happy to answer any questions you have about your symptoms.
There are a wide variety of homeopathic treatments for the relief of seasonal allergy symptoms as well, but as with any medicine related questions, it’s best to check with your doctor or pharmacist.