As we are finally released from this bitterly cold winter, the first signs of spring have begun to sprout. We feel the warm embrace of spring with the pleasant temperatures, sunshine, enticing and abundant blooming plants, and the allergies that go along with it all. For some, this season of new isn’t quite so romantic. Along with the blossoms come pollen and other airborne allergens that irritate the sinus cavity, causing itchy and watery eyes, sinus pressure, runny noses, sneezing, and other uncomfortable symptoms. While there are no cures for seasonal allergies, there are several ways to help alleviate symptoms and get back to enjoying spring!

To accurately diagnose your allergies, talk with your primary care physician about your symptoms. It is always a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking medication, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, as some antihistamines can interact with specific prescriptions. Some allergy relievers can also cause drowsiness and taking them during the day can disrupt regular activities. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will likely prescribe you an allergy treatment or recommend an OTC alternative for mild symptoms.

Over-the-counter treatment options are plentiful and cover a wide variety of symptoms. Antihistamines attack and eliminate the allergens that cause symptoms to reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itchiness. Decongestants relieve swelling and congestion. Some OTC options include both antihistamines and decongestants for severe symptoms. Nasal sprays provide immediate relief and can be prescription grade or over the counter. Sprays should not be used long-term, as they may damage delicate nasal tissue. Eye drops can relieve itchy and watery eyes and are widely available.

If you’re experiencing severe allergies and have not experienced relief from the above options, your doctor may recommend alternatives to combat your symptoms. Immunotherapy may be an option for some by gradually exposing patients to an allergen until a sufficient immune response can be developed. However, this treatment may not work for everyone. The process has two different applications, one being a tablet and the other injectable. Patients using immunotherapy should always perform the process under the supervision of a physician, as potentially dangerous allergic reactions can still occur.

Springtime is a beautiful time and being stuck inside to escape the onslaught of allergies is not a permanent or enjoyable solution! After consulting with your primary care physician about your allergies, come by our pharmacy to look at the OTC options or to fill your prescription. Let us help you get back to enjoying the outdoors again! Consult your local pharmacist at Roger’s Family Pharmacy at (601) 582-8351 for additional information.