Nipping seasonal allergies in the bud

Allergy season is right around the corner. Learn how to manage the symptoms of the season, including stuffiness and sneezing.

“Spring allergies can often lead to a variety of ear, nose and throat problems,” said Ron Shashy, MD, an otolaryngologist with CHI Saint Joseph Health – Ear, Nose and Throat Care. “Your body reacts to environmental triggers, causing inflammation and drainage that can then close off your sinuses and lead to a sinus infection or that general stuffiness we associate with spring.”

Devising a Spring Allergy Plan

The simplest way to combat allergies is to avoid triggers. If you do not already know your triggers, an otolaryngologist can conduct tests to identify them. If circumvention does not work for you, Dr. Shashy recommends starting an over-the-counter antihistamine regimen.

“It is easier to get ahead of the problem by getting medication in your system now,” Dr. Shashy said. “Most of these medications are taken once per day, so taking them regularly is not cumbersome.”

If antihistamines and other over-the-counter remedies, such as neti pots or nasal sprays, do not provide relief, make and appointment with your primary care provider or an otolaryngologist.

“Some people require allergy shots or higher doses of medication, while others need a round of antibiotics because the symptoms are from an infection and not allergies at all,” Dr. Shashy said. “Talking to a physician will help ensure you are on the right track.”

For allergy diagnosis and treatment, call CHI Saint Joseph Health – Ear, Nose and Throat Care at 859.629.7140.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 edition of Spirit of Health magazine. For more health and wellness articles like this one, learn more about Spirit of Health and how to subscribe.

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