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The Worst Allergy Season -- Again

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You hear it reported every year: This will be the worst pollen season ever. How, you ask, can each year be worse than the previous? Hereís how: More pollen production each year, partly as a result of longer periods of warmer weather, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

That said, now is the time to start preparing for sneezing season. The ACAAI offers up these reminders to help you get through:

1. Donít rely on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to relieve symptoms. A recent survey suggests that most sufferers are more satisfied with the relief they get from doctor-prescribed therapy (oral drugs, nasal sprays, eyedrops, allergy shots). Choosing an OTC drug can be a hit-or-miss approach. Itís possible one can help, but an allergist can pinpoint exactly what youíre allergic to and target therapy to your individual needs.

2. Donít wait to medicate. Some medications, particularly nasal steroids, are more effective if you begin taking them two or three weeks before your symptoms normally appear. Other medication, like antihistamines, may offer benefit on the day you begin taking them but are more effective if taken before, instead of after, allergen exposure.

3. Consider immunotherapy. Getting regular allergy shots over a period of three to five years can help decrease your sensitivity to pollen and other allergens, making for less miserable seasons. If youíre looking for a ďnaturalĒ cure, this is the way to go.

4. Be mindful of pollen counts. If possible, stay indoors with the windows closed when pollen counts are at their highest, usually around midday. The Weather Channelís website,, has an allergy tracker that can tell you when pollen is high in your area.

5. Wash away pollen. If youíve been outside, take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes when you come in to remove all traces of pollen. And, after you do your laundry, donít hang your clothes outside to dry where theyíll collect more pollen.†

Posted in Lung Disorders on March 28, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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