/ April 16, 2014/ Allergy, Pollen allergies, Seasonal Allergies/ 18 comments

Environmental Allergies

Gary S Flom, MD, FACS, FAAP
Board certified, Otolaryngology – Ear, Nose & Throat

It’s that time of year again! Springtime allergies. While we welcome the beautiful change of season with mild temperatures and trees in bloom, many of us suffer with its associated allergens. Certain parts of the country are worse than others. Here in Metro Atlanta, we see pollen from many types of trees. And because spring is a rainy season, mold also becomes more prevalent. If you are sensitive to pollen, keep in mind that it is at a high point in the early morning, from about 5am until 10am. It is best not to sleep with your windows open so pollen doesn’t enter your house.

Grass pollen is the major culprit in summertime allergies and weed pollen in autumn.

If you wish to do outdoor activities, try to avoid it between the hours of 5 to 10am. While you are driving, keep the windows closed. Consider wearing a face mask when it is impractical to avoid pollen including while cutting the grass and working in your garden. Pollen particularly kicks up on a windy and dry day, so avoid being outdoors then. Use a dryer to dry your clothes instead of hanging them outside where they will act as a pollen collector! Springtime is a good excuse to go to the beach as pollen counts are typically lower there. Shower and wash your hair before bedtime so pollen doesn’t get onto your sheets. When pollen gets into a mattress it is very difficult to get out. It is good to be outside shortly after a rain. The rain pulls the pollen to the ground and causes the air pollen count to drop considerably. It is the pollen that is airborne which causes symptoms. It’s not perfect because mold can start to rise after a rain, but it does take a few hours to happen.

There are a lot of good medications for outdoor, and indoor, allergies and thankfully many of them are over the counter. If you know from prior years that you will struggle with springtime allergies, start treating yourself prior to pollen season starting. It is easier to control symptoms before they start. Here in Atlanta, we can see very high counts the first week of April and even as early as the beginning of March. So within about two weeks after Valentines Day, start thinking about pre-treating yourself. As far as non-medication treatment, many benefit from saline nose sprays and irrigations. These have the advantage of mechanically flushing pollen out of your nose and sinuses without side effects. And for medication, look for preparations that contain at least an antihistamine as one of the ingredients. You may get drowsy with these, so do plan on using them shortly before bedtime.

Always clear any any treatments with your healthcare provider as some meds can’t be used with certain conditions.

Enjoy springtime while you can before we get into our hot and humid summer. Stay fit and keep up a healthy level of activity!

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Neilmed Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the maker of original and patented SINUS RINSE ™ kit and #1 recommended and studied nasal irrigation system in the world with distribution mainly in the US and Canada. SINUS RINSE provides natural relief from sinusitis symptoms, allergies, common cold or flu, and other chronic sinus and nasal problems and obviates the need for surgeries and prescription medications in more than 50 % cases. Neilmed’s other products include SinuFlo Ready Rinse, NasaFlo Neti Pot, NasaMist Saline Spray, NasoGel Moisturizer for Dry Noses, NasaDrops Saline, NasaDock Plus Drying Stand. Neilmed’s products are also available in, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.

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