The War on Allergies: Best Strategies to Enjoy Spring

Allergy season is upon us! If you couldn't tell with the fine dusting of yellow covering every car, you may notice you are sneezing, have a sore throat, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes. It is time to battle these symptoms so you can frolic in the flowers, not sneeze at them. Here are some strategies to help you fight the yellow scourge this season.


Pre-treatment is key. When you notice any flora blooming around you, start taking an over the counter allergy medication. If you treat before symptoms start you can dampen your symptomatic reactions. We have Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Flonase, a multitude of Eyedrops, and more here in your local pharmacy. We will help you find what you need.


Have you heard the theory that eating local honey can desensitize your bodies reactions the foreign invader known as pollen? Sorry to those of you looking forward to a spoonful of honey a day to keep the sniffles away but that theory is wrong. It is based on an Allergist's method of introducing a purified form of specific allergens into your system over time to lessen reactions. The problem is eating honey is not nearly as exact. Most seasonal allergy sufferers are allergic to weeds, grass and trees. Bees are harvesting pollen from a multitude of flowering plants and it is most likely not the specific pollen you are allergic to. So unless you can control the honey bee's harvesting practices, you are out of luck. 


Using a nasal saline solution system like the Neti pot to flush your sinuses can help clear out those precocious pollen spores that keep irritating you. Warning: this is a specialized tactic and not something to do in front of prospective acquaintances or friends. Its not pretty but will get the job done so lock the door and get to pouring!


Sometimes when the trees, weeds and grasses are conducting a full on attack you must return to home base. If you know you are allergic to a certain kind of flora, find out when it is pollinating. Stay indoors and utilize your air filtration system. Also, if you have to go outside, avoid mornings when trees tend to pollinate. 


Quell your allergies with overwhelming force! Taking a medication like Singulair can block the actions of lukotrienes, which trigger mucus production and the tightening of airways. This is a more intense tactic with several possible side effects so talk to your doctor when considering this option.  Finally there is now SLIT or Sublingual Immunotherapy, which is basically the same multi-year treatment an Allergist can give you but with drops or tablets under your tongue instead of injections. Please note that it is an investment of both time and money as most insurance providers do not cover the multi-year treatment.

Now you are armed and ready for this fight. Do not go gentle and remember to utilize a combination of these tactics in your war on allergies this spring.