Spring Allergy Guide
, Program Director of Allergy and Immunology at National Jewish Medical and Research Center
March 20th 2012
Spring is officially here and for more than 40 million Americans, that means it’s also allergy season! While many people look forward to longer hours of daylight and warmer weather, others dread the tree and grass pollen that causes allergy-related symptoms – sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and congestion.
Recently, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) announced its 2012 Spring Allergy Capitals™ rankings of the 100 "most challenging" U.S. cities to live in with spring allergies, with Knoxville, Tennessee, topping the list. Other cities that ranked in the top ten were Louisville, KY (3), Oklahoma City, OK (6), San Antonio, TX (9), and Dayton, OH (10).
The good news is that no matter where your city ranked, there are a lot of options to treat sinus and allergy symptoms. Below are a few simple steps you can take to survive spring allergy season.
Practice Allergen Avoidance: Monitor the pollen count every day and on high pollen days, stay indoors. Also, make sure you keep windows and doors closed. This will help prevent allergens from entering the home.
Sinus Wash: One treatment I recommend to almost all of my patients is sinus wash, because it provides a natural, easy and effective option to not only treat, but prevent and soothe nasal irritation. Waterpik SinuSense™ is an example of sinus rinse products and the line provides a variety of designs, from the traditional neti pot to a battery-powered Water Pulsator.
Vacuum Once or Twice Weekly: Keep allergens to a minimum with vacuuming on a regular basis.
Talk to a Healthcare Provider: Finally, get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment by seeing your healthcare provider. An allergist can evaluate you to determine what you are allergic to and what medications would be best for treating your underlying symptoms.
Follow these simple tips and this allergy season, you’ll breathe better and actually enjoy spring!