Weekend Doctor

By DAVE SCHIEFER
As summer winds down, many people are focused on getting kids ready to go back to school and the last of summer vacation plans. Unfortunately, many people have something less exciting to look forward to, the return of fall allergies.
For millions of Americans, allergies aren’t limited to spring. Approximately 20 percent of us are affected by fall allergies and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). The most common cause is ragweed pollen, but it can also be caused by mold spores or pollen from other grass or trees. Symptoms normally start in the middle of August and last until the end of September.
Common Symptoms include:
• Sneezing,
• Itchy, watering, puffy eyes,
• An itchy throat,
• And a stuffy nose,
There are several things allergy sufferers can do to make those six weeks easier:
• Keep windows closed and utilize air conditioning if possible.
• Shower and change clothing after being outside.
• Avoid drying clothes on a clothes line, use the dryer instead.
• Avoid outdoor activities and chores when pollen counts are high.
• Vacuum regularly and wipe down surfaces where allergens may accumulate.
• Use an air purifier with a hepa filter to remove allergens from inside the home.
Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about medications to address your specific symptoms including antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops and even prescription medications. If you suffer each year, consider beginning your allergy medication regimen prior to symptoms starting to reduce your suffering.
Dave Schiefer is a registered pharmacist serving the community at ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital’s FCH Pharmacy.

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