Even though it didn’t feel like it Monday, warm weather brings allergy season, and the heat could be right around the corner.
It’s that time of the year again – the itchy, water eyes, runny nose and sore throat may have already caught up to you, but if not, it could be coming really soon.
And one local doctor says allergies could be around longer this year.
Dr. Philip Gallagher says, “Trees don’t like to pollinate when the weather is really cold. So if you don’t get temperatures above 40 in the morning, then you don’t get much tree pollen.”
Even though Dr. Gallagher says pollen count has been low, he says allergy season could be much longer.”
Gallagher says, “Like this year, I think probably we had some pollen mid-march. And then some years when it’s really cold, like last year, we really didn’t see too much pollen until the end of the first week or second week in April.”
But Gallagher says the itchy, water eyes, runny nose and sore throat can be treated by medications.
Gallagher says “Medications available would be antihistamines, of course. Those are good for people who have relatively mild allergies. And then we have people who have more sustained, more moderate degree of sensitivity and they would do better with the steroid nasal sprays, which are available over the counter now.”
In fact, Dr. Sandra Hong with the Cleveland clinic recommends starting with nose sprays.
Hong says, “We actually go to those as our number 1 treatment for allergies. They not only help with your stuffiness, but they’ll help with your eye symptoms and the draining down the back of your throat.”
But if that doesn’t work, injections are also an option.
Gallagher says, “Allergy shots are not the end of the world. So that when we’re using medicine, if we can use it for a limited period of time, we’re just covering up symptoms. We’re not curing the problem. Where as the shots increase people’s tolerance to those particular allergens. So they’ll be able to tolerate larger exposures without becoming symptomatic.”
Gallagher also says a few years of injections can completely eliminate allergies, especially in children. With adults, symptoms can still persist.