DIHFS: Managing Springtime Allergies

Managing Springtime Allergies
Tyler Alicks, ANP-BC
Adult Nurse Practitioner

Ah, the vicissitude of the seasons! For some, this time of year brings a sense of renewal and an excitement about the increase in temperature and chance for outdoor adventure, but for others, this transition represents a trying time of excess sneezing, watery eyes, and fatigue. This bothersome seasonal occurrence is known in medicine as allergic rhinitis (or allergic rhinosinusitis).

Commonly referred to as hay fever, this condition can occur both seasonally and year-round and tends to affect between 10-30% of adults and besides the aforementioned symptoms, can be associated with runny nose, nasal congestion, itching of the eyes, ears, nose, and/or palate, post-nasal drip,cough and/or irritability. Seasonal allergic rhinitis tends be caused by the pollens from trees, weeds, and grasses, which is why it often helps to have the windows closed to your house or car and minimize time outside during peak times. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website has western state-specific pollen/mold data that is updated daily: https://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts/western-region.

If you are suffering from allergic rhinitis symptoms, many over-the-counter (OTC) treatments are now available and effective, such as Flonase (fluticasone) nasal spray, Claritin (loratadine) antihistamine pills, and Zaditor (ketotifen) eye drops to name a few. If you’re not sure if your condition is related to allergies or is not responding to OTC treatments, then please make an appointment at the clinic, and we’ll do our best to help you feel better!