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What can I do to lessen the blow from seasonal allergies?

When it comes to seasonal sniffling, the best defense is a good offense

By Sally Wadyka Sep 11, 2013 6:40PM

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You don’t necessarily have to hide out inside for months during the fall, spring or summer (depending on when whatever you’re allergic to is in season).

One of the best things you can do to help control symptoms is to plan ahead, says Mark Holbreich, MD, a board-certified allergist in Indianapolis and Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). “If you know you start sniffling and sneezing by mid-August every year when the ragweed blooms, you can start taking an over-the-counter antihistamine in early August,” he suggests. “If you have some on board before the season hits, it can lessen the severity of your symptoms.” If that doesn’t work, and your allergies aren’t controlled by over-the-counter medications, it’s probably time to consult with an allergist.

As for hiding out indoors until the pollen passes, Holbreich thinks that should be a last resort. “Staying indoors with windows shut and air conditioning on can help, but I believe a better strategy is to find medication that works well enough that you’re still able to enjoy outdoor activities,” he says.

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Sep 14, 2013 2:22PM
I take o-t-c allergy meds a few days before going home and seeing kitty.  I am pretty much no longer allergic to kitty
Sep 14, 2013 1:49PM
The other night I had the worst allergy attack I have ever had, even though I've been taking allergy meds.  I had to take a double dose because this attack lasted about an hour and had woke me up at 2 am.  My roommate came to see if I was okay and the last thing I needed was conversation because I couldn't stop sneezing, blowing my nose and my eyes watering.  I could hardly breathe.  I notice the golden rod is blooming away around here and the leaves are beginning to fall.  It's also been very windy, which doesn't help.  
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