If you’re someone who deals with seasonal allergies, you may be conditioned to dread the time of year when the weather starts to change and summer heat is upon us. The itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, and runny nose can be unbearable if you’re not taking the correct steps to manage your allergy symptoms. There are many different treatment options for controlling seasonal allergies. Discussed below are a variety of steps to take recommended by the May Clinic including lifestyle modifications, over the counter medications, and prescription medications.
● Lifestyle Management:
○ Reduce exposure to known allergens (ex. Stay indoors, close windows, and avoid the wind when pollen counts are high).
○ Avoid lawn mowing, gardening, and outdoor chores where pollen will be kicked up.
○ Use dehumidifiers as well as high efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) in your home.
● Over the Counter Medications:
○ Monitor the pollen forecast and begin over the counter medications a few days before a forecasted high pollen count.
○ Over the counter medication examples include oral antihistamines,
decongestants, nasal spray, and antihistamine decongestant combinations (Claritin-D, Allegra-D).
○ Perform nasal irrigation with devices such as a neti pot and saline irrigation solution to clear nasal congestion.
○ Daily ingestion of local honey may aid in reducing seasonal allergy symptoms. Be sure to ask your doctor if this is a safe option for you depending on the severity of your allergies.
● Prescription Medications:
○ If over the counter medications as well as lifestyle management is not enough to treat your seasonal allergies, discuss your options with your healthcare provider. ○ Your healthcare provider may ask you to undergo allergy testing to determine what the next best treatment option is for you.
○ Some patients may qualify for allergen immunotherapy, also known as desentization.
1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2020, April 16). Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
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