Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Suffering from Seasonal Allergies?

Due to spring’s late start, many Long Islanders may have forgotten to take seasonal preventative steps to avoid irritating allergy symptoms.  Now that spring is here, blossoming flowers and trees, and of course, seasonal allergies are here as well. A runny nose and watery eyes are no fun, but there are ways to deal with your allergies and control symptoms.

“Sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, itchy-watery eyes, are the initial signs of an allergic reaction. Due to a 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 reduce the discomfort?
  • Take 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 (OTC) sprays and other remedies are available, including some that previously required a prescription. Do not over use them, as that can cause irritation and bleeding. Also, they can have significant side effects, including, but not limited to, hypertension and prostate enlargement. Please check with your health care provider prior to taking OTCs.
  • 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 take medication before symptoms begin. This usually helps allergy sufferers feel better throughout the changing seasons.

If you need a family practitioner, please visit or call 1-855-CHS-4500.