Expert shares tips on managing seasonal allergies

WAFF's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 2:43 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Spring allergy season is here! If you’re feeling like your allergies intensified early this year, you’re not alone. Experts say allergy season began earlier in Alabama.

According to Dr. Maxcie Sikora, a board certified allergist at AllerVie Health, we’ve had very high pollen counts already this spring; we saw a burst of pollen earlier because unseasonably warm weather came early this year.

She says tree pollen is the predominant allergen in the spring. It can affect both your upper and lower respiratory systems.

Allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, skin and eye itching, and shortness of breath. According to Dr. Sikora, there are some simple strategies you can try at home to alleviate your symptoms.

She says taking showers after you are done with your outdoor activities helps tremendously, and even though the weather is beautiful, try to keep the windows in your house closed.

You should also take your allergy medicine every day and prior to peak allergy season.

“The goal of [antihistamines] is to block the chemical that’s released by our body when we encounter the allergen, which is called histamine,” said Dr. Sikora.

Lastly, if necessary, go see your doctor.

According to Dr. Sikora, it’s important to keep in mind that the pollen “we can actually see generally isn’t our biggest aggravating factor. Pollen that affects our respiratory tract has to be a certain size, and it has to be very small.”

She says individuals, who count pollen, use a microscope to accurately count it.

“You get a false sense of security if you’re just looking at your car or your outdoor furniture for your pollen counts because the majority of the pollen that affects all of us is actually so small, we can’t see it,” she added.

Dr. Sikora says, if you don’t like taking medicine, there are long-term planning options, such as allergy shots and sublingual drops, that help you develop a tolerance to those allergens gradually over time.

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