Spring is in full bloom, so people with allergies and asthma are facing their annual challenges. If you are someone who suffers from seasonal allergies. Here is some advice on finding relief.
Dr. Summer Kerley, PharMD, Rite Aid vice president of clinical services, says first and foremost, if you have the windows open, shut them, don’t let the pollen in. She says wear those sunglasses and always shower before bed because you don’t want to take the pollen to bed with you. She goes on to say, “sometimes we forget too, with the carpet, it can kind of trap the pollen, dust mites, the animal dander so vacuuming and dusting often can ensure that it keeps your symptoms minimum.”
Dr. Kerley says “Fifty percent of the population actually suffers from some type of allergic disorder. With that said usually seasonal allergies are one of the main causes. She says it’s really important to know the pollen count in your area. So, for the Buffalo area it is medium to high right now for tree pollen, so that is really important to know so you know when to start treating your symptoms.”
When asked if there are specific allergy medications that work better for specific kinds of allergens, Dr. Kerley says first talk to your Rite Aid pharmacist. It is important for them to know before recommending a product if you are on other medications that can possibly interact, as well as knowing your health condition, but usually you treat the symptoms so, for those for those itchy, watery eyes, an antihistamine, lubricant eye drops and for the stuffy nose, a decongestant. She says that’s more of the traditional over-the-counter medications that can be used. She says if you are someone who prefers simple lifestyle modification or alternative type remedies, they can offer suggestions on that as well, like saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation system. She says, “again, many people, they may have tried and just don’t like the traditional options available to them. That’s why it’s best to talk to your pharmacist about what other options there are so, I mentioned the nasal sprays, the nasal irrigation systems like a Netty pot; the essential oils are great to help with some of that stuffiness that you may be having and acupuncture, so again, nontraditional treatments that work.“
How do we know if it is allergies? Dr. Kersey says “the biggest thing, if you are starting to treat your symptoms and they are not just working, it’s probably time to go see your physician. They may refer you to a specialist for allergy tests, but with that said, if you know you are always going to be impacted March through May, once you start taking your medicine, take them regularly. Once you stop taking them symptoms will just come back.”
Also, something that’s also great to keep in mind as we start to travel is that it’s important to be prepared for the season allergens that might be prevalent in the area you are visiting.
You can talk to your pharmacist about being prepared for your trip or visit riteaid.com for more information.