Allergies keeping you up at night? By Paul Fulmer, MD

This spring has been pretty rough on allergy sufferers.  The drastic changes in temperature along with the incredible wind and rainstorms have increased the pollen counts throughout the south.  Many patients have notices that their allergies are worse this year and nothing seems to help.                   

A recent article in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that due to climate changes the length of allergy seasons has increased and subsequently the pollen counts as well.  Since 1995 the length of fall hay fever season has increased by 13-27 days.  This prolonged exposure to elevated pollen counts causes people to become more sensitized to allergens.

  • With an allergy, the immune system overreacts to a trigger substance, or allergen. Outdoor allergies (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever) occur when allergens found outdoors are inhaled into the nose and lungs.
  • Common allergens are tree pollen in the spring, grass pollen in the summer and weed pollen in the fall, as well as mold spores. Outdoor mold spores peak in July in warmer states and in October in colder states.

This year because of the warmer weather in certain parts of the country, the spring tree pollen appears to be sliding right into the summer grass pollen and allergy sufferers may not get relief until July. 

So what can we do?  Avoidance of pollen is the first line of defense.  When inside keep windows closed and clean/change your air filters.  When outside, severe sufferers should consider wearing a mask while doing yard work.  If avoidance is not helping, then your next step is a trial of over the counter antihistamines and decongestants.  If no relief, then see your local doctor and see if nasal steroid sprays and prescription antihistamines may turn the tide.

As people become sensitized over the years to allergies, even prescriptions medications may not give them relief.  Often getting allergy tested can help explain why nothing seems to be working.

One nice option we offer at the Snoring Center is relief of the allergy symptom, NASAL CONGESTION!! This is often the primary complaint of allergy sufferers.  By not being able to breath through their nose at night, their sleep is very disrupted.  A simple in office procedure to shrink the nasal tissues swollen by chronic allergies can often significantly improve nasal airflow and quality of life.  So if your nose is constantly blocked and nothing seems to help, then give us a call and start breathing again!!  1-855-DrSnore.

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