Allergy Tips

Tips for hay fever sufferers

In the northeastern United States, tree and grass pollen season occurs in the spring.
Ragweed and other weeds pollinate in the mid-to-late summer.

Symptoms of allergies

  • Not just sneezing and runny nose
  • Nasal congestion, headaches, loss of taste and smell
  • Not feeling well
  • Poor work and school performance
  • Absenteeism

Secondary infections – sinusitis, conjunctivitis from eye rubbing

Asthma – serious complication for allergy sufferers. Symptoms include:

  • coughing,
  • wheezing,
  • chest tightness,
  • and shortness of breath.

Food related allergies

Many people have itching or swelling of their mouth and throat with certain fruits such as apple, peach, pear, banana, melons, plums. Known as the oral allergy syndrome, this is a cross-reactivity between pollen and food proteins. Although quite distressing, it almost never results in a life-threatening reaction as can nuts or shellfish.

Tips on treatment

Start medications early and take them daily. Avoid sedating antihistamines, such as Benadryl. Safe medications available over the counter:

  • Cromolyn nasal spray – Nasalcrom
  • Generic medications are usually much cheaper

Prescription medications: Intranasal steroids are the most effective medications available for allergic rhinitis

  • Flonase
  • Nasonex
  • Nasacort
  • Rhinocort
  • Nasarel

Other medications:

  • Clarinex
  • Allegra
  • Zyrtec
  • Singulair

Don’t forget eye drops if you have significant eye allergy symptoms. Many people will need a combination of medications to stay comfortable in the spring.

Consider allergy shots if you have 2 severe years in a row that are not adequately treated with medication.

10 time winner of Best of Long Island, Best Allergist