Runny nose. Itchy, watery eyes. Non-stop sneezing. Yep, allergy season is here. And according to the FDA, 2012 could be the worst year yet.
So what’s an allergy sufferer to do? Michael Grace, M.D., a board-certified family physician with Alegent Health Clinic in Florence says relief could be as easy as remembering your ABCs.
Avoid the allergens as much as possible. Dr. Grace recommends allergy sufferers pay attention to the conditions or certain times of the year that symptoms hit. If you suffer from outdoor, seasonal allergies, it might be wise to keep your windows closed this time of year. But if it’s the indoor allergens that get you, you might want to think about getting rid of carpets or buying a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. Mattress and pillow covers can also help.
If that doesn’t work …
Bring on the meds. If you suffer from persistent allergy symptoms seasonally or year round, Dr. Grace’s first choice of therapy is a nasal steroid spray. But if you experience intermittent symptoms, like when you stop by to see Great Aunt Mildred and her houseful of cats, try to prevent symptoms in the first place by taking an over-the-counter, non-sedating allergy medicine such as loratadine or cetirizine.
And finally …
Consider seeing an allergist. If you’re still looking for relief, Dr. Grace might refer you to an allergist, a physician who specializes in allergies, to run tests and determine what, specifically, you’re allergic to. Those answers can aid in treatment as well as overall allergen avoidance.