Eva Alessia, D.O.

Eva Alessia, D.O.

Springtime is finally here! We made it! For some, spring is not a fun time of the year. They are the allergy sufferers among us. Pollen from trees is the most common springtime allergen. Grasses cause summer/fall allergies and weeds cause fall allergies. Some have symptoms all year round; these are caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, mold and pets.

Symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Repeated or chronic cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, nasal stuffiness, sneezing, and throat clearing, that last more than a week or two, or develop at about the same time every year
  • Nasal swelling and congestion
  • Nose rubbing, sniffling, snorting, sneezing, or drippy nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Itchy, runny, or red eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Itchy ear canals
  • Itching or tingling sensations in the mouth and throat
  • Coughing, wheezing, difficulty (such as rapid breathing or shortness of breath), and other respiratory symptoms
  • Hacking dry cough or cough that produces clear mucusboy sneezing
  • Feeling of tightness in the chest
  • Low exercise tolerance
  • Eczema (patches of itchy, red skin rash)
  • Hives (welts)
  • Headache
  • Feelings of restlessness, irritability
  • Excessive fatigue

So, what can you do to prevent, or at least minimize allergy exposure? Here are some tips:

  • Keep windows closed during the pollen season, especially on dry, windy days when pollen counts are highest
  • Keep the house clean and dry to reduce mold and dust mites
  • Avoid having pets and indoor plants
  • Avoid those things that you know cause allergic reactions in your child
  • Prevent anyone from smoking anywhere near your child, especially in your home and car
  • Minimize clutter that can attract dust
  • Remove carpets
  • Encase pillows and mattress in allergen-proof covering
  • Wash bedding every week in hot water (more than 130°F)
  • Change furnace/air conditioner filters regularly
  • Use dehumidifier to reduce humidity
  • Shower after working outside

Medications to manage allergy symptoms include antihistamines (Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra), nasal sprays (Nasacort, Flonase, Nasonex, Rhinocort, etc), Singulair, and some others.

Some allergy suffers may need “allergy shots”. Rush-Copley Medical Group offers allergy evaluation and treatment in Aurora and Yorkville.

Here’s to a sneeze-free season.  Enjoy spring!