Today is the first day of spring and though many of you are rejoicing at the warmer weather, others are dreading the start of allergy season.
Question: So Dr Nandi, what are some of the causes for spring allergies?
Many of us love spring as the birds are back and the trees begin to bud. Unfortunately for millions of people, spring means itchy watery eyes, sneezing, congestion or a postnasal drip. That’s because they have Hay Fever or Allergic Rhinitis. Pollen from trees like birch, cedar, cottonwood and pine are common outdoor triggers. Indoor allergens include dust mites, mold and pet dander.
Question: Why do some people have these allergies?
Why some people are get allergies while others don’t often comes down to your genes. Allergies run in families and if your parents have it, then you'll probably suffer from it..but anyone can develop allergies at any age. Your environment like smoking and pollution plays a role as does infection and hormones.
Question: Ok Dr, What are ways to cope if you have allergies?
If you suffer with spring allergies, there are many things you can do to get relief. Here are my prescriptions:
1. Spring clean your home. Vacuum top to bottom and wash any upholstery. This will help remove allergens from inside your home.
2. Limit your time outside when pollen counts are high, and wear sunglasses to help keep pollen away from your eyes.
3. Close your windows during pollen season, and use air conditioning in your home and your car.
4. If you have pets, keep them out of your bedroom and off your furniture. It’s helpful to bathe dogs twice a week.
Question: How important is it to see a specialist?
It’s fine to look online for general information but it’s best to see a board-certified allergist for medical advice. They’ll perform tests to find the cause of your symptoms and determine the best treatment for you. If you use over-the-counter medications, watch for side effects like difficulty concentrating, irritability and sleep disturbances. My advice is if allergies are affecting your quality of life, please see your family doctor for guidance.