MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As spring starts to bloom, so will seasonal allergies. Though everyone’s excited to see warmer temperatures, this time of year can also bring itching, sneezing and congestion to millions of Americans.
Natalie Nyhus talked with medical contributor Dr. Jess Prischmann about allergy treatments to dispel some myths surrounding them.
Can you develop allergies in adulthood?
Yes, you can. It’s most common for allergies to develop in childhood or by early adulthood, but it’s really possible to develop allergies at any point.
Are body aches and fever symptoms of hay fever?
“Fever” is not a component of allergies. If you have a chronic face pain while experiencing allergy problems, Prischmann said it could be sinusitis.
Are Sudafed or Afrin great first line treatments for allergies?
No. The first line of treatment is allergen avoidance, Prischmann said. The second line is trying antihistamines. Prischmann said that using things like Afrin for prolonged periods of time can do harm.
Is airing out your house by opening windows a good way to clear out allergens?
Not necessarily. Many are allergic to pollen, which comes from the outdoors. So opening your windows might actually be letting more allergens in than out. Prischmann said it’s important to know what you’re allergic to in order to determine whether the problem is inside (e.g. dust mites, pet dander) or out.
True or false: early morning is the best time of day to exercise outside if you have allergies.
To some extent, that’s false. Prischmann said that grass pollens are at their peak during early morning hours. Pollen will naturally be at its lowest after a rain.
What should you use to treat allergies?
Beyond doing all you can to minimize exposure to known allergens, Prischmann said that it’s also not a bad idea to rinse your nose out with saline a couple times a day during peak allergy season. There are also products to help you clean your eyelashes and keep your eyes from getting irritated. And, though it’s not the most fashion forward move, wearing a face mask is also a recommended option.
Prischmann had 10 tips for the prevention and treatment of spring allergies:
01. Change clothes immediately after spending time outdoors.
02. Shower to rinse pollen from body and hair.
03. Use air conditioning to filter air indoors.
04. Keep car windows closed.
05. Use a dehumidifier in your home.
06. Know your triggers so you can avoid them.
07. Stay indoors on dry, windy days or when pollen counts are high.
08. Don’t hang laundry outside.
09. Use HEPA filters whenever possible.
10. See an allergist if your symptoms don’t improve.