Allergens: An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Allergens are substances that, in some people, the immune system recognizes as "foreign" or "dangerous" but cause no reactions for other people.
Area physicians have seen an increase from last year in new cases of Allergic Rhinitis.
Currently, pollen from oak, pine and sweet gum trees (allergens) is what is making people sniffle and sneeze. Soon, weeds and grasses will further contribute to the problem. Allergy symptoms get worse with dry, breezy conditions that spread the (allergens) pollen particles through the air. Rain helps to temporarily clear the air of most allergens.
Symptoms of allergies often mimic those of a cold -- sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and lots of sneezing. Itchy eyes are a symptom of allergies, but not colds; and, generally fatigue and fever are not allergy symptoms.
The following are measures individuals can take to diminish and relieve symptoms:
Practice frequent hand and face cleansing, after spending time outdoors or near possible allergens.
Use over the counter and prescription medications can help bring relief to allergy sufferers.
Antihistamines can relieve mild to moderate symptoms and are available both over the counter and by prescription.
Saline nasal spray or irrigation can give temporary relief from congestion and nasal irritation.
Prescription Corticosteroid nasal sprays are a very effective treatment for allergic rhinitis.
Decongestant pills can help reduce symptoms. Nasal spray decongestants should not be used for more than 3 days as they can further complicate the allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots may be recommended for unavoidable allergens that produce hard to control symptoms. They can make your immune system less sensitive to allergens. This requires seeing a doctor that specializes in allergies and chronic respiratory issues.