First-time allergy sufferers: What you need to know

Sonia Jauhar lived most of her life freed from seasonal allergic reactions. But a few years in the past, after transferring to a suburban space of Long Island from New York City, the telltale signs started. “My eyes felt itchy and heavy like they were stuffed with cotton,” she advised CBS News. “I felt sleepy and had a sinus headache, too.”

But at age 44, Jauhar was baffled by her new-found struggling. “I couldn’t understand how I was getting these symptoms for the first time in my 40’s,” she stated.

Jauhar’s expertise is just not unusual. Experts say many individuals are growing seasonal allergic reactions for the primary time nicely into their maturity. Part of the explanation could also be that we’re having extra intense allergy seasons. “It’s the inevitable consequence of continued exposure to these really high pollen counts and severe allergy seasons,” stated Dr. Neeta Ogden, an allergy specialist and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “With repeated exposure anyone can get ‘sensitized’ and develop seasonal allergies.”

Allergy survival guide: 10 tips from a top doctor

Allergy survival information: 10 ideas from a high physician

Dr. Aidan Long, scientific director of Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital and affiliate professor of medication at Harvard Medical School, defined that there is each a genetic and environmental element to allergic reactions. “A certain number of us are predisposed to develop allergies from our parents,” he stated. “But when people start developing symptoms depends on exposure. There’s a certain threshold of exposure and once they reach it, they will then start experiencing allergy symptoms.”

At first, it might be troublesome for first-time victims to decide if they’ve allergic reactions or a standard chilly. One means to inform the distinction, Long stated, is to acknowledge that whereas sneezing and a runny nostril could possibly be an indication of both allergic reactions or a viral an infection, some signs are particular to every. “A cold often comes with a fever and sore throat,” he stated. “Allergies typically don’t have those symptoms, but are mostly localized to the eyes and nose. And the cardinal symptom of allergies is itchiness.”

The size of time you’re struggling can even assist you inform the distinction. “If symptoms are hanging out for longer than seven to 10 days, people should suspect allergies,” Ogden stated.

Allergies will be handled with numerous medicines. Ogden recommends beginning with an over-the-counter, 24-hour antihistamine like Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec. Nasal steroid sprays will be useful, she stated, for signs like sneezing and a relentless runny nostril. She additionally tells her sufferers to use a saline rinse for his or her nostril and eyes and antihistamine eye drops to soothe the itchiness. “If these steps don’t work, I really recommend that people see a board-certified allergist for their symptoms,” she stated. “It’s better and more efficient than messing around with over-the-counter medications that can actually make things worse.”

Ogden helped Jauhar discover the correct mix of medicines to alleviate her allergic reactions within the spring and fall.

Additionally, there are different sensible steps individuals can take to assist cut back allergy-related signs. “Pollen reaches its peak level in the early afternoon, so if you want to be outdoors, do it early in the morning, rather than later in the day,” Long stated. “Pollen can also stick to your clothes, so after being outside, taking off your clothes and showering immediately can be very helpful.”


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