MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — WKRG News 5’s Devon Walsh sits down with Dr. Jonathan Holmes Children’s Medical Group to discuss allergies.
Below are some commonly asked questions:
When are people most affected by seasonal allergies in this area?
Seasonal environmental allergies are common for people in this geographical area. November, December, and January are the only quiet months.
What are the main causes of allergies?
Tree pollen starts in February through spring, and grasses and weeds in the summer and fall months.
How can a patient present with allergies (Allergic Rhinitis)?
Common symptoms are sneezing, clear runny nose, the allergic salute(nose rubbing), throat clearing, watery eyes, mild rash, dry cough.
How is it diagnosed?
Based on the history, an exacerbation of symptoms when exposed to the outside can be an obvious confirmation. Checking with a medical health professional is recommended.
How is it treated?
Initially, it is best to avoid the allergen. Keeping the windows closed in the car and at home. (Especially mid-morning.) After being outside, wash hands and face, change clothes.
Over-the-counter medicines can help. Start with a non-drowsy antihistamine like Claritin or Zyrtec. To be most effective, they should be taken daily. If needing a stronger approach, one can add a nasal steroid like Flonase or Nasacort. When using a nasal spray, never use Affrin, and when administering the spray, aim to the outside corner of the eye.
If allergies are still present, see an allergist.
Differentiating allergies from upper respiratory infections?
Usually colds have a quick onset and resolve within 5-7 days, but allergic rhinitis will be consistent for a prolonged period and worsen with exposure to the outside. Allergies don’t trigger fever, typically.