Tips For Living With Allergies

An outburst of pollen can make life miserable for seasonal allergy sufferers. Vibrant fields abundant with plants – or fall forests ablaze with color – can cause allergy symptoms in nearly one out of six Wisconsin adults and children.

Itchy eyes and noses. Watery eyes. Runny, sneezy, stuffy noses and sinuses. The discomfort can make it difficult to function, sleep or even see clearly. If you’re affected with seasonal allergies, don’t despair. There is help.

What Causes Allergies?

Some peoples’ immune systems are overly sensitive to pollens and molds naturally found outdoors. They go into overdrive trying to rid the body of pesky allergens by sneezing and sniffling. (Dust mites and animal dander can trigger the same response indoors.)

Outdoor allergy triggers are seasonal and depend on where you live. Trees, grasses and weeds all produce pollens during different seasons. As a result, seasonal allergies occur at different times of the year for different people, depending on which pollens they are allergic to.

In Wisconsin, tree pollen counts are high in the spring; grass in the summer; and mold, ragweed and weeds in the fall. You can track pollen counts near you here.

allergies-or-a-coldTips for living with allergies

You can take steps to make allergy season more livable:

  • Avoid troublesome pollens and molds by keeping doors and windows closed
  • Limit outdoor activity when the pollens that cause you the most problems are at their peak
  • Take an over-the-counter antihistamine to alleviate symptoms. Nasal decongestants, nasal sprays and eye drops can also provide relief
  • Find out from your doctor if you would benefit from a nasal steroid spray. It’s often an effective deterrent to allergy symptoms, yet has minimal side effects

Getting Help From a Specialist

Once you have a seasonal allergy – no matter what your age – it’s unlikely to go away. Year after year it will flare up when the pollens that plague you start blowing in the breezes. For many people, seeing a doctor who specializes in treating allergies can make living with seasonal allergies more bearable.

An allergist can help by:

  • Identifying which pollens causes your allergies by prick testing (this way you can track pollen counts online and know when to avoid outdoor activities)
  • Prescribing medicines to reduce your symptoms
  • Explaining how to avoid allergy triggers
  • Giving allergy shots or recommending newly FDA approved allergy tablets in cases of severe allergies
  • Many people with allergies have asthma too. This can be diagnosed with a breathing test

So if you’re really bothered by allergy symptoms and over-the-counter medications aren’t effective, don’t suffer with sniffles and sneezes. Make an appointment with an allergist today.

Meet the Author

Monica Vasudev, MD is a board-certified allergist and clinical immunologist at Aurora Sheboygan Clinic in Sheboygan, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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