Outdoor vs. indoor allergies
Spring is a common time to be concerned about the return of outdoor allergens, like ragweed, grass, and tree pollen. But you may have been suffering from indoor allergens all winter long. They include dust mites, pet dander, and mold.
Common allergy symptoms
Allergens are on the attack any time of the year.
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchiness in the nose, throat, and mouth
Treating allergy symptoms
The allergic process itself is a good thing because it's part of our body's mechanism for defending against intruders like bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Some of us have a super sensitivity to otherwise harmless substances that triggers those watery symptoms we associate with allergies.
While there are many over-the-counter remedies to relieve allergy symptoms, you will want to have a visit with your doctor to help determine if your symptoms are indeed caused by allergens or if there's something structurally going on behind your nose that leaves you suffering longer than expected.
The good news is that you and your doctor, working together, can find a treatment that works for you.
After a thorough examination and some tests, your doctor should be able to assist you with treatment options.
Allergy treatment options may include
- Changing your environment to reduce your exposure to allergens
- Nasal washes or sprays
- Medications that include antihistamines or decongestants
- A course of allergy shots
Quit smoking to reduce your risk of breathing problems
If you smoke, here's one more reason to consider quitting: studies show that exposure to second hand smoke in the home increases the risk for breathing problems like asthma. Asthma and allergies can make an unhealthy combination that seriously affects breathing and may require an emergency room visit.