January 24, 2023
Allergists recommend starting your spring allergy medications on Valentine’s Day
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois (January 24, 2023) – If you suffer from spring allergies, it may be that an allergist has suggested that your Allergies are inappropriate or exaggerated reactions of the immune system to substances that, in the majority of people, cause no symptoms. Symptoms of the allergic diseases may be caused by exposure of the skin to a chemical, of the respiratory system to particles of dust or pollen (or other substances), or of the stomach and intestines to a particular food.” rel=”tooltip”>allergy medicines two weeks before your symptoms normally appear. But more and more allergists are advising their patients to set a reminder before Valentine’s Day to start taking allergy medication.
“It’s not the most romantic idea in the world, but it’s an effective way to remember when to start taking your spring allergy medications,” says allergist Kathleen May, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease characterized by recurrent breathing problems. People with asthma have acute episodes where the air passages in their lungs get narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. Sometimes episodes of asthma are triggered by allergens, although infection, exercise, cold air and other factors are also important triggers.” rel=”tooltip”>Asthma and Immunology (ACCAI). “And while spring allergies aren’t necessarily top of mind in February, climate change means temperatures are rising and allergy symptoms are appearing earlier in the year. In southern regions of the United States, allergies often begin in late January.”
The following are six additional suggestions from ACAAI to help manage spring allergy and asthma symptoms:
- Do you know your allergy triggers? – While allergy symptoms can be very similar – sneezing, sniffling, coughing, and red, itchy eyes – not everyone is allergic to the same things. The bottom line is that seasonal allergies can look different for different people. A visit to the allergist can help you identify what things make you sneeze and cough. Depending on where you live, spring allergies can start as early as January. If over-the-counter medications don’t help, talk to your allergist. They can prescribe effective medications for symptom management.
- What not to test for when testing for nasal allergies – Sometimes patients who are tested for allergy Rhinitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the nose, often due to an allergy to pollen, dust or other airborne substances. Seasonal allergic rhinitis also is known as “hay fever,” a disorder which causes sneezing, itching, a runny nose and nasal congestion.” rel=”tooltip”>rhinitis (hay fever) get tested for food allergies. ACAAI recommends that food allergy testing is not performed in the routine evaluation of allergic rhinitis because food allergies do not cause nasal symptoms. Occasionally, patients have cross-reactivity with food pollen. So what should you get tested for? Hay fever tests should include sensitivity to pets, dust mites, trees, grasses, weeds and molds as these are the most likely triggers for nasal allergies.
- Intranasal corticosteroids are effective – Intranasal corticosteroids (fluticasone, mometasone, budesonide, triamcinolone) are the most effective treatment if you suffer from persistent allergic symptoms, especially if they interfere with your quality of life. They are also safe and may even help control the symptoms associated with eye allergies.
- Some medications have side effects – If you have used pseudoephedrine for your allergies in the past and found it effective, you may know that it has side effects. Pseudoephedrine is effective at clearing congestion, especially nasal congestion, but its main ingredient is methamphetamine or “meth.” Pseudoephedrine has side effects such as insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability and heart palpitations and should not be taken if you are pregnant. It is available by prescription only or by special request from a pharmacist, depending on what state you are in.
- Steer clear of first-generation antihistamines – If you plan to take an oral medication to treat your hay fever, think twice before taking first-generation antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton). They can cause drowsiness and symptoms such as dry mouth, dry eyes and constipation. Instead, look for non-sedating treatments such as cetirizine, levocetirizine, fexofenadine, loratadine, or desloratadine.
- Consider an old (effective) standby – One of the oldest – and still best – methods of tackling your allergens is Immunotherapy is a form of preventive and anti-inflammatory treatment of allergy to substances such as pollens, house dust mites, fungi, and stinging insect 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, perhaps by causing production of a particular “blocking” antibody, which reduces the symptoms of allergy when the substance is encountered in the future.” rel=”tooltip”>immunotherapy. Allergists are trained to identify your allergies and create a personalized treatment plan. Immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or tablets is designed to target your exact triggers. It can significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms and may also prevent the development of asthma in some children with seasonal allergies. Talk to your allergist about which form of immunotherapy is right for you.
If you’re experiencing nasal allergy symptoms and your regular treatments aren’t working, it’s time to see a board-certified allergist. They are specially trained to help you manage your allergies and asthma so you can live the life you want. Find an allergist near you with the ACAAI allergist locator.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergist-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Allergy, Allergy Symptoms, Allergy Treatment, Seasonal Allergies