Tips for Handling Allergy Season
As winter winds down and spring is rapidly approaching, allergy season is right around the corner. If you’ve regularly suffered from spring allergy symptoms year after year, now’s the time to find out how to prevent and subdue your symptoms this season.
What you Need to Know
While you’ve probably become accustomed to chalking that foggy, irritating feeling up to the broad category of “allergies,” it’s important to realize that there is a vast array of spring allergens that could be affecting you.
Figuring out what specific allergens affect you the most can help you pursue the most effective means of relief. To do so, you should start my talking with your primary care doctor or a trusted allergist. Both will be capable of giving you an allergy test that will identify the specific allergen responsible for your symptoms.
The skin allergy test requires a small prick of the skin, which allows the allergen, such as mold or grass, to enter the outer layer of skin. After a period of about 15 to 20 minutes your physician will check for a visible reaction, such as a breakout of hives or a general redness or swelling of the skin.
According to Neil Kao, MD, an internal medicine physician at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, S.C., “The allergy skin test is the quickest, most inexpensive, and most accurate way to find out what you’re allergic to, whether it’s mold, grass pollen, or a type of weed.”
How to Plan
Once your physician gives you a better idea of the specific allergen that’s affecting you, he or she will also be able to give you recommendations for medications that will help to treat your immediate symptoms. Fortunately, there are a number of over-the-counter medications that can be quite effective.
Something as simple as lozenges can go a long way towards soothing a sore throat that is the result of irritation caused by a postnasal drip from your runny nose. Antihistamine eyedrops are also incredibly effective when it comes to relieving itchy or watery eyes.
Paul Enright, MD, a research professor of medicine and public health at the University of Arizona, says that everyone should “start by taking an over-the-counter, non-sedating antihistamine, such as generic Claritin, every morning. If your nose remains congested, add a saline nasal rinse or oral decongestant pill. You can also take a long-acting decongestant nose spray for a few days, if necessary.”
That being said, everyone should be aware that nasal sprays could actually become quite addictive if they are not used strictly as a short-term solution. If you decide to try a nasal spray, make sure to do your research to find a non-addicting spray that will suit your needs.
At Medicine Shoppe Crowfoot, our certified pharmacists are ready to help relieve the worst of spring’s allergy conditions. If you’re suffering, there’s no need to deny the help of a trained professional. If you wish to speak with a pharmacist about your unique allergy symptoms, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-403-455-9939 today!