Seasonal Allergies: Do’s and Don’ts
- Find out what you are allergic to! You may be surprised. Dust mites? Avoiding triggers can reduce the need for medications.
- Use a stronger antihistamine pill such as cetirizine aka Zyrtec (now available over-the-counter) or fexofenadine aka Allegra.
- Try a stronger eye drop. Look for the active ingredient ketotifen on the drugstore shelf. Several prescription eye drops work well too.
- Start using a prescription nasal spray. This is the most effective agent for treating nasal allergies.
- Steer clear of additional irritants such as tobacco fumes, diesel exhaust, strong perfumes, hairspray and paint fumes.
- Contact your physician. A short course of an oral corticosteroid may be needed to get things under control quickly.
- Visit an allergist in Everett, Mill Creek, Shoreline, Smokey Point or Woodinville.
- Use medications that make you sleepy. Instead, try loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec), which typically do not cause sedation.
- Use that over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray! These can cause rebound nasal congestion called rhinitis medicamentos if used longer than 72 hours.
- Take a walk in the woods especially on a sunny windy day. Avoid pollen, you might feel better indoors with the windows closed (ideally, with the air-conditioning on).
- Don’t ignore symptoms of a cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness or wheezing. These may indicate asthma. See a physician immediately.
- Suffer through seasonal allergies! Help is available.