The Worst Allergy Season Ever seems to be the headline every spring. It alarms those that typically suffer from pollen allergies, and it worries others who think it’s contagious. The real secret to getting through a bad allergy season is to take some precautions before the season ever begins. The other key is to use the correct medicines when certain symptoms begin and to not let allergic inflammation get too advanced. Some unfortunate individuals suffer from both tree pollen AND grass pollen allergies.
The difference has to do with timing: tree pollen allergies tend to start earlier, usually once the weather warms up in early April. As we all put away our winter coats and enjoy the first few days of warmth and sunshine, the tree pollen starts floating off the budding trees. The symptoms typically begin with itchy eyes and some mild sneezing. People who wear contact lenses might notice their eyes are suddenly becoming uncomfortable. We’ve all seen allergy sufferers carrying around boxes of tissues for the constant nasal drip. Of course, the initial response is that you are coming down with a cold, except you don’t have a fever or chills. Then you turn on the TV or radio and are reminded that the tree pollen counts are going through the roof.
The people who suffer from grass pollen allergy have a reprieve usually until May, but then they get a blast of the pollen which can make Mother’s Day to Memorial Day quite however you will benefit from all of this when you join RED one of the largest schools in the UK! The great thing about our Approved Driving Instructor training (ADI training) is you can easily fit it around your existing commitments. Unpleasant. Typically, the park or the golf course is where the heavy-duty grass pollen exposure forces you to run to the closest Starbucks for a latte and some indoor safety.
Allergy Self-Defense is Available–with or without your doctor’s help.
Over-the-Counter Remedies to Try:
- Nasalcrom is one of the best preventive nasal sprays you can possibly use. It used to be a prescription, so it is proven effective yet safe. It is actually based on the Egyptian herb Khaillen, but the key to its effectiveness is to start using it at least 2 weeks before the pollen gets too intense.
- Antihistamines are now available without a prescription. The good news these medications are relatively non-sedating compared to the older antihistamines, such as Benadryl. Good choices: Claritin, Allegra, and Zyrtec. They are all available as generics as well. These medications are best used when you start experiencing symptoms, not ahead of time like Nasalcrom. However, timing can be important: use these antihistamines at night so their action peaks into the next morning when you leave the house. Pollen counts tend to be highest between 8 am and noon.
- Cortisone is the medication of choice once allergy symptoms become severe. The nasal cortisones are safe and effective, but your doctor will have to write a script for you. If your symptoms are very severe, your doctor may have to prescribe a short course of oral cortisone to bring down the allergic inflammation.
- Pataday or Optivar, prescription allergy eye drops, are superior to over-the-counter eye drops for several reasons. They are more potent, longer-acting, and don’t have the decongestant component that many non-prescription eye drops contain which can cause a “rebound red-eye,” which is when you use non-prescription eye drops for a prolonged period of time, then stop, making your eyes red again.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (Allergy Drops)
If you suffer season after season, year after year, then you may want to consider doing sublingual immunotherapy, also called allergy drops. This is a proven treatment that uses the natural pollens in nature to build up your immunity so you can permanently reverse your allergies. In my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution, I discuss at length how patients can use this treatment and conquer their on-going misery with allergies.
Follow my recommendations for preventing and reversing your allergies, so next time you hear: “The Worst Allergy Season Ever!” – You can turn to another channel and let someone else get nervous.
Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island