Best defense against allergens

Your best allergy defense

The rain we're getting is a welcomed sight to help wash away some of the pollen.  But if you suffer from allergies, runny nose, nasal congestion, nasal drainage, scratchy eyes, or scratchy throat it is actually getting worse from here. This week tree pollen kicks into high gear then grass, and then weeds and so on!   But you can fight back against the allergens, but you need to start now if you haven't already.

Charlotte is usually in the top ten cities for allergies because of all the beautiful trees.  Pay close attention this year to when your allergies start.  If you notice these problems at the same time every year, it's a good idea to get ahead of the problem by taking your medicine two weeks before you start to suffer.  "There are many over the counter remedies for this, and generic Claritin and Zyrtec can be taken daily, "said Dr. Kedist Tedla from Mecklenburg Medical Group at Carolina Lakes.  And be consistent she says, and stay on your medicine throughout the allergy season.

The doctor says it's important to limit your exposure.  Not easy to stay indoors after the winter we've had!  The doctor says if you must be outside, consider wearing a dust mask.  And when you're inside your home or car, keep the windows and doors shut.

If you have spent time outside, remember the pollen that causes your symptoms is going to be in your clothes!  "When you come in at the end of the day each day it's advisable to wash your daytime clothes to remove the allergens from outdoors," Dr. Tedla recommends.

The doctor warns, if you don't take care of your symptoms, you could suffer much more severe health issues.  "Some symptoms can be severe enough that you would probably think that you have some type of upper respiratory infection and of course if you do not take care of allergy symptoms then it could lead to secondary infections," according to Dr. Tedla.

She also recommends a saline nasal wash.  Many people use 'neti pots'.  They work well for some, but it is critical, according to the Food and Drug Administration, that you use the proper ingredients when making the solution, and keep the pot very clean. The FDA has recommendations and important information on its web site.  You can find details here.

Dr. Tedla says if these ideas don't help, visit a doctor for a prescription strength medicine, and consider getting tested to find out what you're allergic to.

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