Hay Fever Season Is Here - Get Relief
You made it through the winter unscathed. You survived the cold. You survived the ice. You even survived that week when it seemed like everyone around you had the flu (thank you, flu shot!)
But before you even had a chance to sigh in relief ... allergy season was upon you. Ugh.
The tell-tale drip
It probably started with a little nasal drip. Maybe a sneeze. Then your eyes got red and itchy. And then you knew ... pollen was back with a vengeance. Tree pollen levels were already reaching high levels in the South in mid-March while the Northeast and Midwest got a few weeks’ reprieve, thanks to cool weather. With ample moisture in the spring though, regardless of where you live, hay fever season is now in full swing.1 And if your spring allergy symptoms feel worse than they have in past years, you’re not alone. As carbon dioxide levels have increased, pollen-produced plants have thrived. Chalk up another win for climate change.2
What happens when you have allergies
You’re sitting at your desk surrounded by spent tissues while your cubical mate is happily breathing away with nary a sniffle. What gives? Lucky you, you have a hyper-sensitive immune system. Your immune system recognizes pollen as a foreign agent and attacks by releasing histamine into your blood stream. Histamines set off an immune or inflammatory response. How relentless the attack depends on your body. You could be one of the lucky ones with just a little eye redness – or you could be a snorting, snotting, sneezing, wheezing, eye-scratching mess.2
You’ve never had hay fever before? Don’t relax just yet – you can develop allergies as an adult, particularly if you move to a different location with new allergens. The reverse is true as well. Just because you have suffered from allergies as a kid, doesn’t mean they can’t improve or disappear as you age.2 In fact, research shows the more we are exposed to a variety of allergens, particularly as children, the better our chances to fight them off. So, skip the antibacterial soaps, let the kids play in the mud, get them a pet, and of course, make sure they get their recommended immunizations.3,4
Reducing your exposure
Just because you are one of the unlucky 50 million Americans2 who suffer from season allergies doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself inside until next winter. Keep windows closed and give your home a thorough spring cleaning to reduce exposure:5,6,7,8
There are a variety of pills, shots and nasal sprays to help, from over-the-counter (OTC) remedies to prescription medications. So how do you find the one that is right for you?
If spring allergies are leading to symptoms that include sinus pressure or infections, wheezing or shortness of breath, a trip to your doctor is in order. If you are unsure what exactly is setting off your allergic reactions, your doctor may send you to a specialist to help identify the culprit.9,10
For the bulk of allergy sufferers, however, a consultation with your pharmacist may be enough to find relief. OTC remedies will depend on your symptoms and include:
As with any medication, be sure to use as directed and talk to your pharmacist if you have any questions.
We’re here to help
If you are suffering from seasonal allergies and not sure of the best remedy to alleviate your symptoms, your local Health Mart pharmacist is always here to help! Call 734-426-1600 or stop in today.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
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