COLORADO SPRINGS – Spring is here and that means it is time to say hello to your allergies.
“Spring is here, the tree pollen is out, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” said William Storms, M.D., William Storms Allergy Clinic and the Cough Center.
Right now it is trees that are pollinating. Grasses will start in June and weeds follow in July. When it comes to just how much pollen is in the air, well, it depends on the weather.
“When it’s nice and warm, sunny, a little wind then the pollen is really high,” Storms said. “If we get the cold weather in a few days, then the pollen goes down.”
Now is the time to starting taking your antihistamines. Storms suggests taking a pill such as Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra with a nasal spray like Flonase. If you notice that one brand of drug is not working as well, it may not just be in your head.
“It may help to switch from a Claritin to a Zyrtec to an Allegra,” Storms said. “But if you see that happening it really means that you need more than just that medicine and it’s time to see a doctor.”
If you see do a doctor, Storms says that you could be given allergy shots. He says they work differently than over-the-counter medications because they build up your immune system.
“It’s like a vaccination,” he said.
If Benadryl is your allergy drug of choice, Storms suggests just taking it at night because it can cause drowsiness.
“You can actually be driving impaired if you take a Benadryl,” he said.
To keep your home free of pollen you should keep your windows closed, but keep air flowing throw your home by using a fan and make sure to change your furnace filter.
Storms says there is another factor that many people don’t take into account when dealing with their allergies.
“They can have spring and fall allergies, summer allergies, but if they have a cat or a dog, they’re probably allergic to the cat and dog,” Storms said. “The combination of that plus the pollen gives them the symptoms.”