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How To Prepare For The Season Of Sneezes

Written by Courteney

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Spring is undoubtedly the worst season for grass and pollen allergy sufferers. Pollen allergies (commonly known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis) can range from a few sniffles to rare cases of dangerous facial and tracheal swelling, with a million degrees of severity in between. So what can be done if you’re hypersensitive to pollen? It may seem impossible to protect yourself against gazillions of tiny particles closing in around you, but there are measures you can take to minimize your springtime discomfort.

Advice For Mild Sufferers

For those who mainly get stuffy noses and itchy eyes, allergy season can still be unpleasant. Going through boxes of tissues and rubbing your eyes raw can be quite frustrating. Here are some tips for mild sufferers:

  • You can talk to your eye doctor about allergy drops if your eyes are frequently bothering you. Be careful when choosing over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops, some contain ingredients that may make the eye even more dry and uncomfortable.
  • Try topical anti-itch cream if your skin bothers you a little from the pollen.
  • There are many OTC antihistamines you can try before going to the doctor. You may only have to take antihistamines as needed instead of daily depending on your symptoms. Allergy tablets with a decongestant can be helpful as well for your stuff nose, but only if you’re not asthmatic (dextromethorphan can be a harmful ingredient for asthmatics).

Tips for Moderate Sufferers

For allergy or allergic asthma sufferers who experience more extreme symptoms such as urticaria (hives), itchy eyes and face, wheezing or other similarly unpleasant symptoms from exposure to pollen, you may need to take more extreme measures to stay safer and comfier during the Spring:

  • OTC antihistamines can help for some. You may even be permitted to take some anti-histamines at higher doses than listed, however, only when guided by a doctor or allergist. Do not increase the dosage without first discussing it with a professional as each case is different and it could be dangerous.
  • Benadryl cream can be good for itchy skin and urticaria
  • If you are very wheezy, you should ask your doctor to evaluate your lungs to make sure you don’t have an underlying lung condition such as asthma. Even if you don’t have asthma, he or she may prescribe a puffer for you to take temporarily until the pollen (and your symptoms) have calmed down.
  • For your stuffiness and other nasal symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a nasal corticosteroid which can help by reducing inflammation of your nasal canals
  • You should pay attention to the weather and pollen count, and avoid going outside during peak pollen hours of the day

What About The Severely Allergic?

A small percentage of the population suffers from extreme allergies to certain pollen. They may experience extreme urticaria, moderate or extreme swelling of the face, body or even tongue and throat (if you experience mouth or throat swelling, call an ambulance or go directly to the ER). Spring can be torturous and frightening for these unfortunate rare sufferers, so more extreme precautions may be in order such as:

  • OTC antihistamines may not effectively take care of extreme reactions, so often doctors will prescribe a series of medications including strong corticosteroids such as prednisone to help those extreme pollen allergies get through the season.
  • Severe sufferers should take all precautions possible to avoid highly pollenated areas, they should avoid traveling to rural areas with more trees, and as often as possible try to stay indoors until the evening when the pollen count is much lower.
  • There are many particulate filter masks available now that can keep pollen out of the mouth and airways in extreme cases. Some of them are designed to look fashionable.
  • Keep windows closed all the time and avoid putting clothing out on the line to dry as it will become infused with pollen.
  • A good tip would be for family or spouses of the extreme sufferer to change clothing when they come inside to avoid getting pollen on the person.
  • Another tip for a moderate or severe allergy sufferer would be to invest in a good air filtration system to help filter most of the pollen out.

If you have any concerns about allergies, symptoms or medication, feel free to contact one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians. Keep an eye out for our tips to help allergy-proof your house!

 

 

 

 

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