With warm weather days as early as February, the spring allergy season has already started. But people with allergies can breathe easy this spring if they are aware of some key survival techniques.
Spring allergy symptoms include:
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Dark circles under eyes
Medications to treat allergy symptoms:
• Antihistamines control itching, sneezing and runny nose. Over-the-counter antihistamines include Claritin, Zyrtec and Benadryl. Prescription antihistamines are Allegra, Xyzal and Lodrane. *Note- many over-the-counter medicines may cause drowsiness
• Nasal steroid sprays control itching, sneezing, runny nose, and congestion. Nasal corticosteroids are the strongest medications available for the preventive treatment of nasal allergies.
• Other medications include eye drops, Singulair and anti-inflammatories.
Spring allergy avoidance:
• Postpone outdoor activities until later in the morning. Pollen counts are usually highest between 5 and 10 a.m.
• Know your local pollen count. Visit caawg.com.
• If possible, use air conditioning instead of having windows opened.
• When traveling by car, have the windows up and the air conditioning on.
• Don’t hang your laundry out to dry. Allergens will collect on them.
• Do not mow the lawn or rake the leaves without a filter mask.
• Wash bedding weekly in hot water.
• Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed.
A new treatment: allergy drops instead of shots
These drops are new available at the Center for Allergy and Asthma. Allergy drops given under the tongue (or sublingual immunotherapy) are an alternative to allergy shots. They can be effective for seasonal and year-round allergies for children and adults.
Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia
Dr. Eugene Hurwitz is the medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia with offices in Carrollton, Villa Rica, Breman, Newnan, Emory Mid-town, Hiram, Smyrna, Peachtree City and Avenues of Forsyth.