Spring is almost here, which means you’re likely to start feeling symptoms of spring allergies soon. Spring allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, and swollen sinuses. Tree pollen is the main culprit of these symptoms and generally peaks in late March/early April; so, you still have time to prepare for spring allergies. Here are some tips from the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers to prepare and manage your allergies.
Get Your Spring Allergies Diagnosed Early
Although most people are allergic to tree pollen during springtime, many other allergens such as mold and pet dander can trigger similar symptoms as well. Allergy testing is necessary to develop an effective treatment plan and soothe your symptoms fast. NY Allergy & Sinus Centers offers skin prick, intradermal, blood, and patch allergy testing.
Skin prick testing is the most common form of allergy testing. It checks for allergic reactions to common environmental and food allergens that may be contributing to your symptoms. This test takes less than 20 minutes to deliver results. Book an appointment for a quick allergy test at an allergy center near you.
Check the Pollen Count Each Day
Pollen counts vary each day. You can expect a higher pollen count on warm/dry days. The pollen count is usually lower after heavy rain. Be sure to check our website each morning for the daily pollen count. You can also follow NY Allergy & Sinus Centers on Instagram and Twitter for pollen counts each spring and summer.
Reduce Your Exposure to Allergens
To reduce your exposure to allergens, avoid outdoor chores such as gardening and mowing the lawn on days when the pollen count is at its highest. We also suggest vacuuming your home at least twice a week if you have carpet. Pollen often sticks to clothes, hair, and shoes causing allergy symptoms. For this reason, don’t hang laundry to dry outside.
If it isn’t possible to avoid outdoor allergens, consider wearing a mask outside to prevent pollen and other substances from entering your mouth and nose. You should also wear sunglasses to avoid getting substances in your eyes. When indoors, keep the windows closed and use air conditioning with a HEPA filter.
Rinse Your Sinuses Daily
Rinsing your sinuses helps relieve nasal congestion, a common symptom of spring allergies. It also helps to remove dust, pollen, and other particles, as well as loosen thick mucus. You can use a Neti Pot or a squeeze bottle. It’s important to only use distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water only. Tap water isn’t safe for use as a nasal rinse because some tap water contains low levels of bacteria and potentially infectious organisms.
Be sure to follow the directions labeled on your nasal rinse device to ensure proper use. You can also visit one of our allergy specialists for a quick demonstration. We offer convenient hours and locations open six days a week.
Seek Treatment For Your Spring Allergies
There are many antihistamines available over the counter, so it can be difficult to choose the best one for your symptoms. It’s best to visit a Board Certified Allergist to determine the best medication for you. At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, we offer personalized treatment plans created to help you feel better fast.
If antihistamines and other allergy medications don’t soothe your symptoms, allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be an option for you. Immunotherapy is a completely natural, time-tested therapy that gradually creates a tolerance to these environmental allergens. This treatment is recommended for individuals whose symptoms are not controlled with first-line medications or for someone looking for a long term solution that will ultimately reduce the need for these medications. You can begin immunotherapy any time and continue the treatment throughout the year.
Meet the Physician Collaborator
Dr. Marc Braunstein is a physician specializing in Allergy and Immunology. He is board-certified with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and The American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Braunstein works with patients and their families in the evaluation and treatment of hay fever, asthma, food allergies, sinusitis, hives, and drug allergies. He is currently accepting new patients and would be happy to help you feel better today. You can schedule an appointment with him by calling (718) 416-0207 or booking online.