Don’t let allergies get you down!

At last, the snow has melted, and we finally remember what grass looks like! Spring and summer weather is here (hopefully to stay) … at least until September, right? But the warmer weather brings with it another season some of us know all too well… allergy season! Eyes water, noses itch and sneeze, and none of these allergy symptoms are very fun. It’s time to get ahead of our seasonal allergies so we can enjoy getting outside in the coming months!

Allergies can take many forms including eczema, asthma, and most commonly allergic rhinitis. Seasonal or acute allergic rhinitis is what occurs at particular times of the year. These allergies are a reaction to wind-borne allergens such as ragweed, tree and grass pollen. Allergy symptoms cause a variety of reactions and vary in intensity.

The most common allergy symptoms are:

  • A runny nose
  • Itchy/Sneezing nose
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • A headache
  • Postnasal drip
  • Scratchy throat
  • Red eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A cough
  • Asthma

There are a number of treatment options to help subside your symptoms. Over the counter products can be taken alone or in combination together. Some products such as eye drops will have a local effect while oral antihistamines are systemic and will work throughout the entire body. Starting allergy treatments before exposure to the allergen is generally more effective than starting when symptoms are already present. So, before allergy season really gets into full swing here in Calgary, we should start our usual allergy treatment to get ahead of the game!

It is also helpful to try to limit your exposure to allergens that trigger a reaction. This is not so simple, but we do have some recommendations for you during pollen season.

When planning outings, take a look at the pollen count in the forecast. If it is high, try to keep outdoor activities to later in the day when pollen counts are at their lowest. Keep windows and door closed and set your air conditioner to “recirculate” to reduce exposure. Shower and wash your hair after outdoor activities to remove pollen and avoid drying clothes and bedding outside.

Our pharmacists are always available to help with recommendations and provide more insight into allergy season. We recommend speaking with one of our pharmacists about treatment options relating to you or your family’s allergies.

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