Due to spring’s late start, many Long Islanders may have forgotten to take seasonal preventative steps to avoid irritating allergy symptoms.
“Sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, itchy-watery eyes, are the initial signs of an allergic reaction. Due to longer than usual winter in the Northeast, allergy season was delayed a few weeks,” explained Louis Guida, MD, FCCP, allergist on staff at St. Charles Hospital. “The pollens are now in full bloom. One must remember an allergen is an irritant that causes an inflammatory process leading to some of the previously mentioned symptoms.”
How can you mitigate the discomfort?
- Begin taking antihistamines immediately to help manage and prevent allergy symptoms, such as inflammations and sinus infections.
- Use a saline solution or neti pot to cleanse nasal passages and rinse away allergens that stick to membranes in the nose, to prevent inflammation in the sinus passages and respiratory tissues.
- More over-the-counter sprays and other remedies will be available this spring, including some that were previously available only by prescription, but do not OVER USE them, as that can cause irritation and bleeding. They can also have significant side effects, including but not limited to, hypertension and prostate enlargement. Please check with your health care provider prior to initiating these over-the-counter medications.
- If you are experiencing any signs of sinusitis, asthma or upper respiratory tract infections, or if sneezing symptoms persist, consult your doctor. If you are prescribed allergy medications, please use only as directed.
- Plan for good health: it’s recommended that sufferers know their allergens. Ask your doctor to test to find out what you’re allergic to, so you can begin taking medication before symptoms begin. This usually helps allergy sufferers feel better throughout the changing seasons.
If you need a family practitioner, please visit www.chsli.org or call 1-855-CHS-4500.