Coping with a rough allergy season

Local News
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Are you one of those people feeling just miserable these days because your allergies are acting up? Allergy season has arrived with a vengeance. And if you’re wondering if it’s too late to get help, the answer is a resounding no.

There’s a number of treatments available from the tried and true to the relatively new to give you much-needed relief.

“Horrible. It started so early this year, too.” Seasonal allergy season or allergic rhinitis as it’s medically known is really hitting 20-year-old Jordan Reilly of Larksville hard lately. So, she’s seeing her allergist for her go-to treatment: allergy shots. “I’ve been getting them for over a year now.” When asked if they help she replied: “I think they do a lot.”

Her Board Certified Allergist Raymond Khoudary says his office has been bombarded with patients seeking relief from those miserable symptoms. “Nasal symptoms, stuffy nose, sneezing. The second one is itchy, watery eyes. Itchy watery eyes, red eyes are the most common symptoms.” 

Many of us find that relief in the form of antihistamines, eye drops, and over-the-counter steroid nasal sprays. But when symptoms are severe, a prescription medication like montelukast may be in your future. And if that fails, Dr. Khoudary said, “Then we move onto desensitization which is allergy shots.”

Another option to deal with what’s irritating you in the not-so-great outdoors is what’s called sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT. They’re allergy drops with antigens that work like those desensitizing shots that you put under your tongue and can take at home.

But it’s only effective for one type of allergen at a time. Dr. Khoudary said, “Some studies show it works great. Some studies show questionable. So the gold standard as of recently is still allergy shots.”

But for patients like Ms. Reilly, it might be something to consider instead of seeking out those shots. “I think it would help a lot just because it is, like, a hassle,” she said.

Dr. Khoudary says because those allergy drops are not FDA approved and insurance often won’t cover the cost, he doesn’t recommend them for his patients. What he does advise is avoiding exposure to what triggers those seasonal allergies.

Limit outdoor time and keep the windows closed. Take off your shoes when you come inside so that you’re not tracking allergens through the house. Bathe before bedtime so that you’re not getting allergens on your pillow or covers.

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