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Tips for Making It Through Allergy Season

Apr 15, 2016


Spring is in the air, which means that millions of pollen grains are floating through the air, too. An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Learning how to deal with allergies can make the difference between enjoying spring weather or sneezing your way through the season.

Recognizing Common Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Every experiences allergies a little bit differently. Allergies are the result of an overactive immune system responding to neutral stimuli as though they are threats. The most common spring allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes

For some people, spring allergens like pollen or mold also trigger asthma, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma may lead to wheezing, coughing or breathing problems.

How to Make It Through Allergy Season

There is no cure for seasonal allergies, but there are strategies that can make your experience better. Consider some of the following tips to make it through this allergy season.

  • Know your triggers. The most common triggers for seasonal allergies are grass, mold and pollen. Your Riverhead Hospital allergist can perform a screen to determine what allergens trigger your immune system the most.
  • Check the pollen count. The levels of pollen in the air depend highly on the area you live. Each day, check the expected pollen count in your area. This information is available through the National Allergy Bureau and is often highlighted by your local weather channel.
  • Change clothing as soon as you get home. The clothes and shoes you wear outdoors can drag in harmful allergens. Take off your shoes as soon as you get home, leaving them in an enclosed closet space if possible. Also, change your clothes immediately to keep allergens from permeating your home.
  • Find medications for symptom relief. Over-the-counter allergy medications contain antihistamines, which can block your allergic response. It may take some trial and error to determine which drugs work best for you. Consult your doctor for prescription medications if your allergies are severe.
  • Consider immunotherapy. Allergists offer immunotherapy, sometimes called “allergy shots,” which help your body learn to tolerate the presence of pollen or other allergens without triggering your immune response.

The best way to make it through allergy season is to get some professional help. Having seasonal allergies doesn’t mean you have to be miserable each year. Our Peconic Bay Medical Center allergy specialists can recommend treatments that get you the relief you deserve.