Best Ways to Alleviate Allergy Symptoms
As spring comes into full bloom, for allergy sufferers it can bring itchy, watery eyes, runny noses, and for some, a lack of energy. With the ongoing pandemic, many patients may be wondering if they are experiencing allergies, or could their symptoms be signs of COVID-19.
“Covid affects more than just the eyes and nose. It is a more systemic illness with fevers, body aches, and coughs, shortness of breath, and loss of smell,” said Dr. Steven Harmon, a Steward Medical Group Family Medicine physician. “Allergies are more about the nose and eyes being irritated by pollen.”
Over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays can provide some allergy relief, said Dr. Harmon, as can antihistamine medication. As allergy sufferers search for relief, they also have something new available: antihistamine eyedrops.
“Over-the-counter eyedrops are relatively new,” said Dr. Harmon. “They are typically for anyone who is having symptoms: itchy, red, draining eyes; light crusting in the eyes in the mornings. They are over-the-counter-including a new one that came out this year.”
While some may find relief for their allergies by a trip to the local pharmacy or from their doctor if they need an allergy medicine prescription, others are seeking it through technology. Pollen-counting applications (apps) are one of the latest resources allergy sufferers can use, Dr. Harmon said.
Pollen-counting applications can offer real-time data, including for common allergies such as molds and grasses.
“It’s a game-changer for people who know what they are allergic to. There is an app that can even give you what the numbers are every two hours,” Dr. Harmon said. “If you’re a really heavy allergy sufferer, you can know what days you can exercise outside or what days you should stay inside.”
Tips to Remove Allergens
Allergy sufferers can also take steps at home to get rid of allergens before bed, Dr. Harmon said, including:
- Consider washing your hair and face before bedtime
- Change your pillowcase frequently
For those who have tried multiple over-the-counter allergy medications and are not getting any relief, Dr. Harmon recommends they see a specialist. Treating allergies is important, he said, as many allergies can cause fatigue, especially when they are severe.
“Treating your allergies may also improve your energy level and quality of life,” Dr. Harmon said.
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