By: Adam N. Williams, MD, Allergy & Asthma
Juniper pollen has hit Central Oregon.
You can expect to have those annoying allergy symptoms for the next 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on what you are allergic to. But, by following some simple tips you may be able to better manage your allergies.
Make the diagnosis.
The first step to getting relief from allergies is making the right diagnosis. Seasonal allergies can cause a number of symptoms. The most common allergy symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose
- Itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes
Because many of these symptom can have other causes, determining if your symptoms are due to an allergic reaction to pollen can be challenging. The best indicator of whether these symptoms are due to allergies is if they seem to occur consistently around the same time each year.
The pollen is causing the allergic reaction symptoms therefore, minimizing pollen around you is an important step in treating your allergies. Also consider:
- Avoid spending long periods of time outside during your pollen season.
- When you go inside after being outside, take a shower or bath to wash the pollen off of you and change into clean clothes.
- Keeping the windows closed will keep the wind from carrying those pollen grains of misery into your house and your nose when you are inside.
Remember the power of saline.
If you are looking for an option that works and does not involve taking medications, consider nasal saline. Several studies have suggested rinsing the nasal passages and sinuses with saline solution (salt, water, and sometimes with other additives such as baking soda) can be beneficial for the treatment of mild to moderate allergy symptoms. Various types of neti pots and plastic saline nasal rinse bottles are available over the counter without a prescription. Follow the directions for proper use.
Take advantage of medical progress.
A number of medications are now available for treating the nasal, sinus and eye symptoms of allergies. These medications are even available without a prescription. Decades of research in clinical trials have shown that the “newer” non sedating antihistamines, anti-inflammatory allergy nasal sprays and allergy eye drops are very safe and effective for treating allergies. These work best when taken regularly, on a daily basis during the weeks or months your symptoms are bothersome.
Still suffering? You don’t have to because your pharmacist, primary care provider and/or local allergist are here to help with suggestions for how to best manage allergies.
To learn more and make an appointment with Dr. Williams, please call 541-706-2524.