Spring and Summer Allergies – Boys Town National Research Hospital

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

It’s warmer and sunnier and winter is behind
you. There is twenty percent of the population who doesn’t like it because they have to worry about if they
go outside, could they open their windows, could they go to a softball game without coming home miserable.
Those are the issues that people with springtime allergies face. There are two criteria to develop allergies.
You have to have a genetic predisposition and then you have to have an adequate exposure. If it’s a pet allergy,
or a dust mite allergy, or a mold allergy, these are present all year round. Those are the things that younger kids will get sensitized to. If it’s pollen sensitivity you need at least a three year
exposure and most pollen will bloom six to twelve weeks of the year. Itchy eyes, runny nose, itching on the roof
of the mouth, children are rubbing their noses all the time, they are sneezing. Patients have described
this to me over the years in different ways. There are people who will say “I sound like an old person. I’m
sneezing away. I come home congested. I look like I’ve been to a bar and I didn’t do anything.” So that’s what
happens. Then they get this runny nose. Then they get congested and have a sensation of pressure
in the sinuses. They have difficulty sleeping. They will often start coughing. Well you start with the tree pollen season.
Then you have the grasses to deal with and they tend to start blooming end of April and the first part of
May and they go on until the end of June and sometimes the end of July and early August. If you know you have allergies try to keep
the environment under control. Keep your doors and windows closed. Run the air conditioner. Make sure
the furnace filters are cleaned out. Also, try to find out what you are allergic to. Don’t go out during really
windy days because the wind can carry pollen from miles away. Find out what you are allergic to. Find
out what are your enemies and what your strong points and weak points are and then you adjust your activities
with that. It is a graduation of medications essentially.
Start with really simple and keep adding to it and determine if it is adequate or if it compromises your
lifestyle and if the side effects of the medication are not something you want to deal with then we go
to immunotherapy. I think they could try some of these medications
advertised on TV like Zyrtec and Claritin and Allegra. They could try that and see how they respond. If
they don’t respond and are still miserable they should confront their primary physician and if that doesn’t
work then they should see us.

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