Finding relief for seasonal allergies

Apr 4, 2024, 7:06 PM | Updated: 7:34 pm

AMERICAN FORK – Spring has sprung, which means allergy season is also in full bloom.

For many people – about one in four adults – spring allergies are inevitable. Doctor Glen Porter, an allergist with Intermountain Health, said you don’t have to be miserable.

“We don’t cure allergies, but we can desensitize patients so that their quality of life improves so dramatically,” he said.

According to Porter, the severity of your allergies can depend on your geographic location.

“Generally, the wetter you are, the more rain you have,” he said. “That means the more plants are growing and therefore more pollen.” For example, someone suffering with allergies may find their symptoms vary in Logan versus St. George.

In a recent study, researchers, including one from the University of Utah, found that pollen concentrations have risen more than 20% since 1990.

So, how can you avoid exposure to these allergy triggers? Experts say your best bet is to stay inside during peak pollen times.

“Rinsing your nose when you get home can sometimes be helpful, or if you’ve been out for a while, maybe even taking a shower or changing your clothes,” Porter said.

He also suggested keeping the windows closed to prevent pollen from coming inside.

Unlike a typical cold, with allergies, you shouldn’t have body aches or a fever. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays can help relieve your symptoms.

“The most effective medication is probably topical nasal steroids, which are medicines like Flonase, Nasonex, Rhinocort,” Porter said. But they don’t work immediately. “I typically recommend people begin using those about two weeks before the typical onset of their symptoms.”

And if that’s just not enough, it may be time to go see an allergist who can provide additional treatment options.

“It’s not something you have to deal with; it’s not something you have to be miserable with,” Porter said. “It’s very treatable.”

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Finding relief for seasonal allergies