Robins, daffodils and ... tree pollen. Spring is springing, and with it, allergy season begins again.
Has your nose started running again recently? Are you sneezing and coughing? Do you find it easier to breathe through your mouth than your itchy, congested nose? Then your allergies are back in full swing.
Now is the time to get started back on your prescription nose spray. Steroid nose sprays take about five days to kick in, so don't delay! When you use your spray, remember that it takes a couple of squirts to prime a new bottle. Aim the nozzle a bit toward the ear on the same side (away from the "septum," or dividing wall between the two sides of the nose) to prevent nosebleeds. Remember to use your spray every day, since it doesn't work as well if you only use it now and then. When pollen counts are high, and your daily nose spray isn't enough, take an allergy pill (like Claritin or Zyrtec). Check out my hay fever blog post for more info on allergy medications.
Your primary care provider can help you sort through the various allergy treatment options, including allergy testing and allergy shots for those who don't get enough relief with medication.
If you prefer to avoid prescriptions, try the Neti pot.
Here in Ohio and Indiana, tree season starts in March and lasts for a couple months, and grass season isn't far behind (usually April through June). But don't worry, you should start feeling better by July (until weed allergy season starts in August!).
If you want to follow the pollen counts, like I do, check out the National Allergy Bureau Pollen and Mold Report, available courtesy of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. You can sign up for daily emails with your local pollen counts, and you can even save the page link as an application on your smartphone.
What have you found helpful for your Spring allergies? Any other smartphone apps you can recommend for fellow allergy sufferers?
Claritin® is a trademark of MSD Consumer Care, Inc.
Zyrtec® is a trademark of Johnson & Johnson.