ACHOO: Allergy season is here

Published 7:35 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

The season has arrived where everything in its path is coated with yellow particles.

Watery eyes, sneezing and runny noses are all too familiar as spring approaches and allergy medicines start disappearing from the shelves.

“If you have allergies the first thing is do not get out in it,” said Pharmacist Randall Chandler of Chandler Drugs. “If you touch something that has pollen on it you will spread it when you wipe your nose, eyes and touch your skin.”

To reduce pollen irritation Chandler suggests blowing the air conditioner to clear the air of particles, encourages the use of saline nasal spray to keep the nostril moist, artificial tears and washing pollen off of the skin after returning from outdoors.

“The warm weather came early this year and the peach trees, hardwood and pine trees are wonderful, but are terrible because they produce this pollen,” Chandler said. “But we have to have it, but it can raise havoc if you have allergies.”

Symptoms Chandler hears frequently around this time of year are teary eyes, nasal drainage and even external dermatitis, when pollen comes into contact with the skin and causes irritation.

“People who have asthma or lung related diseases use more inhalers around this time to open the lungs,” he said. “If it gets in the head it will get it the chest and cause irritation.”

To combat allergies, Chandler recommends seasonal antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, generic Loratadine, Certirizine and 24-hour antihistamines that do not cause sedation.

“Benadryl works fast and corrects the allergy situation, but has more side effects such as dizziness,” he said. “It’s good to take at bedtime because it dries up sinuses and drip drainage. The best thing to do is limit your outside exposure until the pollen dies off.”