5 Tips for Sufferers of Seasonal Allergies
One of the most commonly overlooked health conditions is one that 40 million fellow Americans share, allergies. Many of us that live in seasonal areas love the changing weather. We welcome spring by opening all our windows to enjoy the ‘fresh air’. Unfortunately, we may also be letting in allergens. Allergens cause a person’s body to overreact, causing allergies.
Allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy nose, scratchy throat and watery eyes. Some people’s allergies get so bad they have to skip work, school or other community responsibilities. 35 million Americans suffer with allergies and allergic disease is ranked the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.
There are many methods available for treating allergies. The professional route is to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a board-certified allergist-immunologist. This allergy specialist will test you to identify exactly what your allergic to and then prescribe either medication or immunotherapy (series of shots) to manage, or in some cases eliminate, the effects of your allergy.
Many other people who suffer from allergies opt for over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms in search of a quick-fix, but some of these medications can make you feel drowsy and run down. Whenever taking any medication you should always speak to your pharmacist or other healthcare provider prior, even if it is only an over-the-counter. Sometimes it is best to avoid these medications and try changing diet and/or lifestyle to help balance the immune system to help treat the symptoms.
Urgent or retail clinics staffed by clinicians can often bridge the convenience gap between wanting treatment for your symptoms immediately and waiting a long time to get an appointment with an allergy specialist. Retail and urgent care clinics often cater specifically to things like allergies an can give you professional care versus wandering the allergy isle at your local super store. In many cases, these clinics will often loop in your primary care provider of any treatment they give you so that when you do finally get that referral to see the immunologist everyone involved with your care is on the same page.
Know what is causing your symptoms
H2O is better…
Put down the chocolate shake and snack on some nuts
Don’t bring your pollen with you
Get a jumpstart on allergy season
Keeping your windows closed and set the air conditioner to use re-circulated air. Also, clean your air filters and air ducts at least once a year to help keep allergen levels low. Unfortunately, fresh air is not always the best thing, especially for people with allergies. If you want to have a symptom free allergy season try avoiding extended time in wooded areas and gardens and try to stay indoors in the early morning when pollen counts are highest. When traveling, be aware of allergy ‘hot spots’. You don’t want to spend your well deserved vacation feeling miserable with allergies. Make sure to dust your home on a regular basis and wash your sheets at least once a week. Keeping a clean home will help prevent your symptoms from taking hold of you.
Dogs are Mans Best Friend… but not during allergy season:
Guest Author Bio: Dorothy Wheaton, PA-C, is the lead clinical provider for Careworks Convenient Healthcare, a US company operating retail health clinics and urgent care centersin the Northeast United States.