UAB expert offers simple strategies to tackle summer allergy season

Published on April 29, 2013 at 4:54 AM · No Comments

Sneezing, wheezing and coughing are just some of the symptoms that seasonal allergies can stir up. One sinus expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) said despite a late spring, the summer allergy season will be strong.

Allergies are one of the most chronic conditions to plague people worldwide, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, with pollen being one of the top allergens.

"Tree pollen has been bad for several weeks now, but grass pollen season is not far off," explained Richard Waguespack, M.D., clinical professor and newest addition to the UAB Division of Otolaryngology.

"For allergic people in the South, a big problem is that there's no break between tree and grass pollen season," Waguespack said. "Then right after grass pollen season, comes weed pollen season, which doesn't generally end until the first good frost."

After several decades of treating allergies, Waguespack knows if it is a wet spring, it will likely be a robust summer allergy season. To take on the days ahead, Waguespack said avoidance is the best line of defense.

"When it is reasonable and consistent with your lifestyle, if you have outdoor allergies, you should stay indoors when everything is in bloom," Waguespack advised, adding that checking the pollen counts online before heading out can help with decision-making.

Other ways to battle allergies:
•Keep windows shut at night
•Non-sedating, over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines like loratadine, cetirizine, or fexofenadine
•A visit to the doctor

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