Achoo!!!! An Allergy Survival Guide

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Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical EditorYou know the sounds of the season: snort, sniff, and honk. Allergies are in full swing, and even though we seem to say “this is the worse season in recent memory,” this is, in fact, the worst season in recent memory.

And right now is a particularly bad time, since we are just coming out of tree pollen season and starting grass pollen season. It’s the worst of both worlds!

Why? Tough call. Weird winter. Dry air. Moisture at just the right times. And an ever-increasing number of people who never had allergies before … but have them now. (Yes, you can develop allergies at any age.)

So what’s the best way to quiet the sniffling and dry up the drips?

First let’s talk meds. Antihistamines are the best thing to use if you are really hurting. Most are now over-the-counter, so you can try what you wish. Products such as Claritin or Zyrtec are supposed to be “non-sedating”. The older ones are a little stronger, but can also make you a little slow-on-the-uptake. BTW, generics are just as good as name brand.

If you find a product that works, then stops — the trick is to change to a different brand for a few weeks. You usually can go back to the first one after a while — it’ll start working again very nicely.

Take your antihistamines before your symptoms- they will help if you’re already sneezing, but the “anti” in antihistamine keeps that chemical from bothering you. (Histamine causes mucus production. itching, and swelling).

If you are sensitive to any product but still need relief, consider taking a kid’s dose to get some relief without the side effects.

Other tips besides keeping the windows closed:

Shower and wash hair before bed.

Keep worn clothes out of the bedroom.

Keep outdoor pets out of the bedroom.

Think about some saline nasal spray or artificial tears for the eyes to wash out pollens and ease irritation.

Good luck, and hopefully, goodbye to the sniffles. If not, see your doctor for some special tricks we have up our sleeves.

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