It’s that time of year, allergies are here!
If you are sneezing, coughing, your nose and eyes are runny and itchy, that’s probably what is going on.
Several simple things that can help:
A. Reduce your exposure
1. Stay home on dry and windy days
2. Avoid the parks and The Cherry Blossom Festival
3. Remove clothes worn outside when you come home
B. Be extra careful on days when pollen counts are high
1. Check pollen counts on www.pollen.com
2. Start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start
3. Avoid outdoor activity
C. Pay attention to your indoor air
1. Use air conditioning with high efficiency filters
2. Use HEPA filter in your bedroom
3. Use vacuum filter with HEPA filter
If you have significant symptoms despite these measures, you can use some medications.
1. Benadryl- original allergy medication that can cause drowsiness as a side effect
2. Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra- all of these are over the counter; they last longer and are less likely to cause sedation.
B. Nasal Spray
1. Steroid sprays like Flonase, Nasonex and alike for predominant nasal symptoms. Some are over the counter, for some you still need a prescription.
2. Antihistamine spray like Patanase and Asteline, available by prescription.
3. Cromolyn nasal spray, like Nasalcrom- for pregnant women and mild symptoms, available OTC.
C. Eye drops
1. Antihistamine drops like Optivar available by prescription
2. Steroid drops for severe cases available by prescription
3. Mast cell stabilizer drops are OTC- try Claritin eye or Refresh Eye Itch relieve, Zaditor
D. Leukotriene antagonist – also known as Singulair, available by prescription if medications above are not enough.
Remember – if you are really suffering or if your allergies trigger asthma symptoms, you should consider getting tested by an allergist as allergy, immunotherapy may help your symptoms in a long run.
Thank you to Dr. Katerina Silverblatt at Heights Pediatrics for sharing this valuable advice with our families about allergies! Heights Pediatrics has been serving the Brooklyn Brownstone community for over 40 years.