Provided by: Roger Friedman, MD (Allergist)
Hay Fever Season is Here – What Can You Do?
Ragweed pollen is the cause of allergic rhinitis that begins in early August and lasts until it frosts a few times, which kills the weed. Ragweed pollen is everywhere – especially in the woods, fields and in the center strip of highways. The pollen counts can be over a thousand, especially during the heavy pollination times (early in the morning and late afternoons).
The first strategy is avoidance of the pollen. You can do this by keeping the windows in the house closed and using the AC. When you exercise try to avoid early am and dusk.
We use a variety of medications to treat hay fever, including antihistamines, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines and Singulair®. Each patient responds to these differently, so if one fails another may succeed. If these work then no further evaluation may be needed, but if patients continue to suffer it’s time to see your Allergist.
The diagnosis is usually confirmed by a visit to your Allergist where skin testing can guarantee that the proper problem is being treated. Immunotherapy or allergy shots are our most effective treatments, and can actually cure the problem.