Managing Seasonal Allergies05/19/13
SUNDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Although spring arrived late
this year in parts of the United States, the summer allergy season
will still be strong, according to a sinus expert at the University
of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Richard Waguespack, clinical professor in the university's
division of otolaryngology, said a wet spring often results in a
robust summer allergy season. However, some simple strategies can
help people manage symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing and
coughing, he added.
"Tree pollen has been bad for several weeks now, but grass pollen season is not far off," said Waguespack in a university news release. "For allergic people in the South, a big problem is that there's no break between tree and grass pollen season. Then, right after grass pollen season comes weed pollen season, which doesn't generally end until the first good frost."
The best defense against allergies is to avoid triggers by
staying indoors, Waguespack said. "When it is reasonable and
consistent with your lifestyle, if you have outdoor allergies, you
should stay indoors when everything is in bloom," he said.
Waguespack added that checking the pollen counts online before
going outside can help allergy sufferers plan their activities.
Waguespack offered these other tips to manage seasonal
- Close your windows at night.
- Take non-sedating, over-the-counter antihistamines such as
loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec) or fexofenadine
- Schedule a checkup with your doctor.
"Visiting your family doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist when allergies are not readily treated with [over-the-counter] medications is vital for reduction of symptoms," Waguespack said.
Some allergy symptoms may be a warning sign of a more serious
medical problem, Waguespack said. "Sometimes a patient can confuse
allergies with a sinus infection or upper respiratory infection,"
People who experience recurrent or persistent allergies should
consult their doctor about allergy testing to determine the exact
causes of their symptoms, he added.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
tips to control outdoor allergies.
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