HOLMDEL, N.J. Spring allergy season is in full swing with no end in sight! Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer through the season. Josef Shargorodsky, M.D., M.P.H., an otolaryngologist affiliated with Hackensack Meridian Health Bayshore Medical Center, offers a few tips that you can implement to help reduce your sneezing and sniffling.
Know what affects you. It is possible to be allergic to more than one substance, so be mindful of when your allergies act up. In the spring, most allergies are caused by tree pollen; however, if your allergies do not subside as the seasons change, it might be one of several possible indoor allergens that you are allergic to. The only way to truly know what is causing your symptoms is to get tested. An allergy test is painless, and can tell you precisely what you need to avoid.
Reduce pollen exposure. It is important to try to keep pollen out of your environment. It may be gorgeous outside, but opening windows allows pollen inside. If you are an allergy sufferer, you may need to keep windows and doors closed when possible, and keep allergens off yourself. Change your clothes after spending time outside, wash your face and hair, and wear a mask if you are doing outdoor chores like mowing the lawn or gardening.
Know the pollen counts. Pollen reports are available on weather apps, newspapers, and radio and television weather reports. Pollens are usually at their highest levels in the evening, so schedule outdoor activities accordingly.
Take medication. Many over-the-counter medications can offer some spring allergy relief. Look for medications that contain the words “antihistamine or decongestant” or consider trying a nasal spray. If over-the-counter medications are not cutting it, see your physician, who may be able to prescribe a more potent medication, nasal spray or eye drop.
These four tips can help you survive the coughing, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose that come with spring allergies. If you have tried everything and are still suffering, Dr. Shargorodsky recommends that you consider seeing a specialist who can help determine what is causing your allergies.