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Spring is a great time of year; the snow melts and the temperatures finally start to rise. However, not all aspects of springtime are great – there are both positives and negatives to the changing of the seasons. If you are among the millions of Americans who notice a runny nose, a tickle in the throat, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itching and/or postnasal drip this time of year, then you may be experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies known as rhinitis. Seasonal allergies occur when a person’s immune system becomes sensitized and overacts to an environmental factor like pollen and mold spores.

Helpful Tips for Spring Allergy Sufferers

Luckily, there are ways to make symptoms more bearable. By visiting our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio you can find out exactly what allergens are causing your symptoms and work with your Allergist to find the best treatment plan.

  • It’s important to wash your sheets regularly, vacuum your floors, and clean any surfaces that could easily collect pollen.
  • Keep your windows closed. Your AC unit will help filter out the air, keeping mold, pollen and dust from your home.
  • Remove your shoes and change your clothes when you get home from being outdoors. Your clothing and shoes are excellent vehicles for tracking pollen around your home. Wipe your dog’s paws when you get back indoors so they don’t track pollen inside either.
  • If you like to spend time outside, exercise outdoors, or walk your dog, make sure you do it at a time when pollen counts are low. Mornings and evenings have the lowest pollen counts, utilize these times of day.
  • Try using a neti pot. Neti pots are a great drug-free remedy that can help to reduce swelling, clear out your sinuses and loosen and remove mucus.

If avoiding your allergens isn’t helping to control your symptoms, our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio suggest these treatments.

  • Antihistamines – Oral or nasal medications that help to reduce sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.
  • Nasal Corticosteroids – Nasal sprays that help with a stuffy, itchy nose and postnasal drip.
  • Antihistamine Eye drops – Great to use for itchy, watery and red eyes.

Finally, it may be time to see one of our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio. It’s important for your quality of life to visit an Allergist-Immunologist if you’re suffering from allergy symptoms. Our allergists can help you to determine exactly what you are allergic to and then can provide you with the best treatment plan. Our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio provide immunotherapy (allergy shots) if OTC medications aren’t helping to relieve your symptoms.

Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)

Immunotherapy is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to substances such as grass pollens, house dust mites and bee venom. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance, or allergen, to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, probably by causing production of a "blocking" antibody, which reduces the symptoms of allergy when the substances is encountered in the future. Immunotherapy also reduces the inflammation that characterizes rhinitis and asthma. Immunotherapy can be “disease modifying”, meaning in many instances we can eliminate or cure the allergy.

Before starting treatment, the physician and patient identify trigger factors for allergy symptoms. Skin or sometimes blood tests are performed to confirm the specific allergens to which the person has antibodies. Immunotherapy is usually recommended if the person seems to be selectively sensitive to several allergens, and if medications are not effective or causing side effects.

Consider visiting our Allergists in Columbus, Ohio if you are suffering from spring allergies.