Minimize allergy symptoms this summer by taking the right kind of action.
Many allergens waft through the air as summer prepares to take center stage. Mold and pollen are abundant and can cause a wide variety of uncomfortable aches, itches, sneezes, and sniffles.
“Allergy is our body overreacting to something that is perceived to be dangerous to us in the environment,” says Noah Stern, DO, Otolaryngologist and Program Director of the DMC Otolaryngology Department. “If someone is having symptoms that are bothersome, it is important to seek medical attention early.”
The first step to finding relief is by consulting an otolaryngologist with Detroit Medical Center Medical Group. Our team of expert physicians is well versed in diagnosing and treating allergies, one of the most common health conditions in the United States, affecting more than 50 million Americans.
Because allergies can affect any person of any age, gender, or race, physicians at DMC conduct a full spectrum of diagnostic tests on each patient depending on symptoms. Blood draws and skin tests are typically used to test for allergens that result in seasonal and perennial allergy symptoms. In addition, non-invasive endoscopy may be used to identify other conditions with similar symptoms.
“If you are already aware that you are allergic to certain summer allergens, do what you can to avoid them,” Dr. Stern says. “It is also critical to seek help from a professional who can help you design and implement and effective action plan.”
A range of different medications may be recommended by your physician to treat your seasonal allergies. Specifically, he or she may recommend:
- Decongestant medications that may be taken orally, like pseudoephedrine, offer temporary relief of symptoms. Decongestant sprays like oxymetazoline can also provide a quick fix, but they may actually worsen symptoms when taken for long periods of time, so use sparingly.
- Nasal sprays made with cromolyn sodium relieve symptoms such as itching and sneezing with minimal side effects but are only effective if taken prior to encountering a known allergen.
- Oral antihistamines alleviate itching, runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
- Steroids ease inflammation associated with allergies and may be taken orally or through a nasal spray. While steroids are very safe and effective, they should be used under the supervision of your physician. They also are not recommended for people with glaucoma.
All in the Family
If your parents have a history of allergies, you are more likely to suffer from similar conditions. So if you or your child are experiencing long-lasting symptoms that seem like a cold that just won’t quit, schedule an appointment with your DMC Medical Group physician. In the meantime, improve quality of life through these simple steps:
- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Take showers after spending time outdoors.
- Wash clothes you have worn outside.
- Wear a dust mask when doing work outside like mowing the lawn or planting flowers.
“Allergies can make us miserable if we aren’t prepared,” Dr. Stern says. “But you can take control and enjoy your summer by making the right choices.”
Make the DMC Medical Group your first choice for care.