Most of us associate allergies with spring when the trees are bursting with pollen after the long, cold winter. But for some, no matter the season, they will find themselves dealing with constant sneezing, itchy eyes and annoying nasal congestion.
The reason, according to Aneysa Sane, M.D., a Carilion Clinic allergist and immunologist, is pollen. Yep, even during the fall when leaves are falling and the air is getting colder, pollen is the culprit. Below is a rundown of what might be ailing you during the seasons:
- Spring - tree pollen
- Summer - grass pollen
- Fall - weed pollen
Since avoiding pollen all together is nearly impossible, Dr. Sane noted that medication is often your best bet. Medicines in the antihistamine category, such as loratadine, fexofenadine or cetirizine, work best for sneezing, itching and post-nasal drainage.
“For those who have congestion, we recommend combining an antihistamine with a nasal steroid,” said Dr. Sane. “Nasacort and Flonase have generic equivalents and are over the counter."
However, if you are still suffering during the winter months, allergy testing may be a good option.
"If your symptoms continue, it could be related to pet or mold issues in an indoor environment,” said Dr. Sane. “Avoidance is always the best treatment for allergies, so if we can pinpoint that person’s allergy, than we can help them avoid those triggers when possible and overall they will just feel much better."
To monitor pollen and mold levels in your area, visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology web page. And if you have questions about your allergies talk to your doctor or an allergist.