Learning to Control Spring Allergies

Allergy SeasonAs pollen counts soar in the spring, so does the sneezing and wheezing.

There are reasons that allergy symptoms seem to worsen each year. A study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reported pollen counts are steadily on the rise and could double by the year 2040.

Jefferson Surgical Clinic’s Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department can help you better deal with the allergy symptoms you face at this time of year.

Making you miserable

Common allergens in the early springtime include pollens from trees such as cottonwood, maple, elm, birch, walnut and poplar trees. Although allergies are often attributed to flowering plants, their pollen is generally too heavy to be airborne and cause allergic reactions.

 

How the body responds to allergens

When the immune system senses an allergen in the body, one of its responses is to produce an inflammatory substance known as histamine. Histamine can produce common symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, sinus and nasal congestion and scratchy throat.

Managing symptoms

Treating symptoms with multiple approaches generally get the best results. Minimizing exposure to allergens and medications such as antihistamines and nasal decongestant sprays can provide relief. Over-the-counter drugs can also help manage the symptoms. You can also try these tips:

-          Wear a pollen mask to clean the house or mow the lawn.

-          Change filters regularly in your home’s heating and air conditioning systems.

-          Keep windows and doors closed during pollen seasons.

-          Shower after returning inside to clean off allergens and wipe down pets as they to remove pollen from their fur.

How an ENT specialist can help

An ENT specialist can help you control your environment to minimize exposure to allergens, possibly identifying the specific allergen causing symptoms. They can also help determine if a structural anomaly such as polyps or deviated septum is affecting your allergies.

Call 540-283-6000 to schedule a same-day or next-day appointment with Susan Blick, a nurse practitioner in Jefferson Surgical Clinic’s Ear, Nose and Throat department. 

Last modified on Thursday, 26 April 2018 11:07