Allergic rhinitis, more commonly called “hay fever,” has been affecting Ohioans for hundreds of years. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your hay fever symptoms and enjoy the spring season without suffering.
Why are allergies worse in Ohio?
Ohio is known for having high levels of pollen in the air during the spring season, which can greatly exacerbate allergy symptoms. The most common culprits include tree pollen, grass pollen, and weed pollen. To make matters worse, Ohio's climate makes it difficult for allergy sufferers to catch a break. The warm, wet weather in Ohio during the spring season creates the perfect breeding ground for mold spores, which can further worsen allergy symptoms.
What are allergy symptoms?
The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy nose, mouth, and throat
- Sneezing, coughing
- Puffy and swollen eyelids
Tips for managing spring allergies
Seasonal allergies can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition for many people in Ohio. However, with the right tools and knowledge, you can manage your symptoms and enjoy the beauty of spring without suffering. Here are a few tips:
- Stay indoors during peak pollen hours: Pollen counts are highest in the morning and early evening, so try to stay indoors during these times.
- Keep your home pollen-free: Vacuum frequently and use air purifiers to filter out allergens.
- Take a shower after being outside: This can help wash away pollen that may have accumulated on your skin and hair.
- Use a saline nasal rinse: This can help to flush out allergens from your nasal passages.
Over-the-counter medications can be a great help in managing hay fever symptoms. The most effective medications include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays. However, there are potential side effects to using any of these medications. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering at-home treatment:
- Antihistamines work to block the histamine that is released during an allergic reaction, and therefore can help prevent sneezing, itching, and other allergy symptoms. If you plan to take an oral medication to treat your hay fever, think twice before using first generation antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (ChlorTrimeton). They can cause drowsiness and symptoms like dry mouth, dry eyes, and constipation. Look for non-sedating treatments such as cetirizine (Zyrtec), levocetirizine (Xyzal), fexofenadine (Allegra), or loratadine (Claritin) instead.
- Decongestants, on the other hand, can help to relieve nasal congestion by reducing the swelling of the nasal passages, but these should only be used as-needed on a short-term basis.
- Nasal sprays (Flonase, Rhinocort, Nasacort) are first-line therapies that can provide targeted relief for symptoms like congestion and sneezing, without the systemic effects of oral medications.
Schedule an allergy appointment
If you are suffering with allergy symptoms and your regular treatments aren’t working, it’s time to see our staff at Modern Allergy. We are specially trained to help you take control of your allergies and asthma, so you can live the life you want. Click here to schedule an appointment today!