It’s a fertile time for allergies
SPRING brings new life in the garden and with it runny noses, irritable eyes and even itchy ears.
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy has some great tips for helping reduce the irritating symptoms of spring blooms.
- Stay indoors until after midday to reduce your exposure to pollen, particularly on windy days.
- Avoid going out during or just after thunderstorms, particularly when pollen counts are high.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Don't mow grass and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing has to be done, wear a mask or take a non-drowsy antihistamine if your doctor has suggested this.
- Plant a low allergen home garden using plants that are least likely to trigger allergic rhinitis or asthma.
- Keep both your car and home windows closed.
- Use recirculating air conditioning in your car.
- Don't picnic in parks or in the country.
- Plan your holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the seaside.
- If sensitive to particular weeds or trees that are outside your bedroom window, get rid of them.
- Shower when you get home.
- Rinse your eyes frequently with clean water.
- Carry a supply of tissues
Before trying to treat your allergies, talk to your pharmacist or doctor about the various medication and treatment choices. Some of the treatment choices are -
- Antihistamine tablets, eye drops or syrups (non-sedating) help to reduce symptoms (sneezing, itchy and irritating eyes), but they are not as effective in controlling severe nasal blockage and dribble.
- Intranasal corticosteroid nasal sprays have a potent action on inflammation when used regularly (like asthma preventer medications).
- Combination medications containing an antihistamine and intranasal corticosteroid nasal spray are available.
- Combination medications containing an antihistamine and decongestant are also available, but these need to be used with caution as the decongestants can cause many side effects.
- Decongestant sprays unblock and dry the nose but should not be used for more than a few days as they can cause long term problems in the nose.
- Decongestant tablets unblock and dry the nose but should be used with caution as they can have 'stimulant' side effects like tremors, trouble sleeping, anxiety or an increase in blood pressure.
- Saltwater nasal sprays or douches can be effective in relieving symptoms.
For more information about pollen counts, go to www.pollenforecast.com.au.