INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some people may have been blindsided by allergy symptoms this spring because of cooler than normal temperatures in April.
“A lot of people have had allergies. It is debilitating and they don’t know it because its always been debilitating, so you should not have to itch your eyes on a frequent basis, you should not be struggling to breath through your nostrils,” Dr. Michael Padilla, of Franciscan Health, said.
Grass and tree pollens are bad this month, but various types of plants and trees may bloom at different times of the year, and that could affect your reaction.
Over the counter anti-histamines are one option to combat symptoms, but not the only option.
“My first line is with nasal sinus rinses, and for a lot of people, just having that saline wash out the nasal cavity and the mucosa, provides a lot more relief than the medication can,” Dr. Padilla said.
Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, are also an option. They may take several months or even years to be effective.
“The immunotherapy, when done correctly, is a pretty significant burden as far as time goes. That’s a weekly or a couple times a week shot,” Dr. Padilla said.
Dr. Padilla saw an decrease in people complaining about allergies at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone was wearing masks. Using a mask again may help reduce your exposure to pollen.
“Filtering your air is going to keep pollens and allergens from getting under your mucosa in your airways, and irritating them,” Dr. Padilla said.
Padilla warns people that use a nasal rinse, to only use bottled or filtered water. Tap or well water could be dangerous.