Allergy Season is here again

Spring is a beautiful time of the year many people look forward to because of all the lovely flowers blooming everywhere in their resplendent awesomeness. A great relief from the dreary winter months is not exactly a bad idea.

However, many dread it because of the accompanying pollen grains everywhere which simply brings on allergy symptoms for so many people.

I understand many folks have to visit their primary care physicians, extra visits to the pediatrician (not for well child visits though) and many have to simply get the nebulizing kit out and within easy reach.

Allergy season can start as early as January in Southern states and linger into November.
If there was harsh winter then the start of pollen season will be delayed.
For people with seasonal allergies it means a lot of sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Tonnes of used tissue papers from running nose that doesn't stop dripping.

For some it could herald a nightmare. This is usually triggered by tree pollens in the late winter or spring.
Next is the grass pollen season which begins in Mid-May and ends in July.
In the United States Spring allergies begin in February and lasts until early summer.

There is a Pollen counting Station that puts in data statistics on pollen.
Pollen count and concentration as well as airborne particulate are generally taken using a sampling system called the "rotorod". This apparatus uses silicone grease coated clear rods that are exposed to the air on a set schedule usually over a 24-hour sampling period. Pollen is collected, stained and examined microscopically to determine the number of pollen grains that is covering the entire rod or some portion of it. The Burkard spore trap is also used commonly by the allergist. Now we leave the specific details of how the whole process goes down to the National Allergy Bureau. They basically give a daily report of pollens from trees, weeds, grass and mold.

Common Symptoms of Seasonal allergies includes the following:
  • Cough
  • Fatigue and weakness(sometimes)
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat(sometimes)
  • Running nose
  • Stuffy nose
Seasonal allergies would never present with fever or general aches and pains. If someone has these two symptoms then the diagnosis in most likely not just seasonal allergy.
These symptoms of seasonal allergy could last for several weeks.

Treatment for seasonal allergy:
  1. Antihistamines: Common brands are Zyrtec(Cetirizine), Benadryl (Diphenhydramine), Allegra (Fexofenadine)
  2. Nasal steroids: Flonase is a good example.
  3. Decongestants: Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine), Claritin-D, Mucinex, Advil Cold and Sinus.
All these help tremendously with giving relief to seasonal allergy symptoms and can be easily gotten over the counter.
However if your symptoms still persist or get worse or you develop and fever with about 72 hours you need to see your doctor.

Complications of Seasonal allergy
  • Sinus Infection
  • Asthma exacerbation
Seasonal allergy could be associated with vernal conjuctivitis which is a long term swelling of the outer lining of the eyes. This usually occurs in people with strong family history of allergies. Most commonly occurring in spring and winter.
Antihistamines- Loratadine, Cetirizine, chlorpheniramine
Decongestants-as tablets and nasal sprays
Allergy Immunotherapy

Prevention of allergies

Avoid those things you are allergic to such as pollens, house dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches. Vacuum rugs more often. Mop floors more often.

More advanced testing  can be done for your allergies. You can talk to your doctor about all the options available.

Also there are great benefits that can be derived from Allergy Shots.

Take great care of yourself and be safe out there. Do not allow anything take out the fun in spring for you!
Be lively, Be happy, Stay healthy!

"You cannot buy your health, you must earn it through healthy living."

                                                                                                                  -Joel Fuhrman

Warm Regards,
Dr Funmi.


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