An allergist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center says now is the time to get those allergy medications out as trees begin to pollinate and spring temperatures arrive to push people outdoors.
"The trees begin pollinating in March and expect to be in full swing by early to mid-April," explained UNMC allergist and associate professor Jill Poole, M.D. "So, this is the time to get allergy medications out, refill prescriptions, and start using nose sprays and antihistamines."
For many Nebraskans the approaching spring means sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy and runny noses and watery eyes. Poole says it's best to take action before allergy season is in full swing.
Allergies, are reactions of the body's immune system to a normally harmless substance, such as the tiny pollen grains released from trees, weeds and grasses into the air.
Poole says individuals who suffer with allergy symptoms that don't seem to get better with over-the-counter medications should get tested.
Tips to lessen the effects of seasonal allergies include:
- Closing windows will keep the pollen from being in your bedroom where you sleep, especially as tree pollen can last longer once in your home.
- After you've been outside, it's helpful to change your clothes and wash your hands and face or even take a shower.
- Try over-the-counter nasal-sinus irrigation products. Avoid nasal decongestant sprays.
- Over-the-counter antihistamines are non-sedating and can also be beneficial.
- If you don't find relief, see an allergist.
For more information, go to www.aaaai.org.