woman with allergies

Tips to Minimize Allergy Symptoms During Peak Allergy Season

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) estimates that about 50 million of Americans suffer from allergies, which are most active in the spring, summer, and early fall. Allergies, according to NIAID, are the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the United States and cost the healthcare system $18 billion annually.

Here are my tips to stay allergy free:

  1. If you struggle with allergies and you have important outdoor activities planned ahead, I recommend the use of oral antihistamines prior to outdoor exposure. Taking an oral antihistamine 30 minutes to one hour prior to exposure, can be very helpful in symptom reduction. I strongly believe in the use of saline nasal rinses and neti pots to wash out the nasal passages. These rinses, such as Simply Saline Allergy & Sinus Relief by Arm & Hammer, which are available over the counter are very effective.
  1. Avoidance of pets in the bedroom. This can be implemented year-round.
    Most of us spend 7 to 9 hours of concentrated time in the bedroom. Within the bedroom, the upholstery, draperies and the bed itself are prime locations for pet dander deposition. Please do your best to keep your pets out of your bedroom and especially out of your bed.
  1. Consider allergy testing so that you may further avoid the allergens that trigger your allergic responses. This can also help if you have any cross-reactions that exist with certain foods (ex: apple and watermelon) which may react with trees. It would be helpful to limit ingestion of these particular foods when peak allergy season is in effect.

Dr. Suman Golla is an associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of UPMC St. Margaret. Dr. Golla completed her undergraduate training at Duke University, and she continued her medical education at the University of Maryland. Dr. Golla is an active participant in the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy Foundation. Her interests include general otolaryngology, head and neck cancer, snoring and sleep apnea problems, sinus and allergy, and general pediatric problems.

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