Tips to Tame Those Seasonal Allergies


Thomas Brandeisky, D.O., FAOCO
Ear Nose and Throat Specialist
Ocean Medical Center


While it may be the prime of summer, the height of allergy season is not far off. Soon enough, the leaves will be falling and the air changing, pushing the autumn season into full swing. If you are one of the many who have seasonal allergies, it means it’s time for the continuous sneezing, congestion, runny noses and other bothersome symptoms that allergies bring to the table.

Seasonal allergy symptoms caused by various seasonal plants or molds that enter the body through the eyes, nose, and throat, and trigger an allergic reaction. While they are often associated with the spring and fall seasons, they can actually occur all year round.

“Allergies can strike at any time throughout the year,” says Thomas Brandeisky, D.O., FAOCO, an Ear Nose and Throat specialist at Ocean Medical Center with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Otolaryngic Allergy. “We are currently seeing patients with itching, sneezing and sinus symptoms, along with coughing, ear complaints and runny noses. Also, there has been an increase in asthma, which is one of the common conditions afflicting allergic patients.”

Many people suffer from allergies at certain points throughout the year. In fact, 20% to 22% of the general population suffers allergy symptoms sometime during the year. And while allergies are not specific to certain ages, the age 65 and older segment of our population is growing and so are their numbers in the ranks of the allergic. It has been noted that allergy is familial and symptomatic patients whose parents have asthma or allergy more likely to be allergic themselves.

So, are there any ways to find relief from allergies? Dr. Brandeisky offers some helpful tips on how to gear up for the allergy season.

Things you can do in your household:
•    Change your air conditioning and heating filters monthly
•    Wash your pets regularly, more often if they spend time outdoors
•    Remove outdoor clothing before entering the house to limit indoor pollens
•    Close your windows in favor of air conditioning
•    Place air cleaners in all rooms of the house

Personal hygiene recommendations:
•    Use saline irrigation washes for the eyes and nose
•    Gargle
•    Try taking over-the-counter (OTC), non-drowsy antihistamines for sneezing and itching symptoms

Seasonal allergies are not serious. However, conditions such as sinus infections (characterized by fever or pain) can mimic allergies.

“Over-the-counter allergy medications can ease your discomfort by reducing or stopping the itching and sneezing,” says Dr. Brandeisky. “You just need to choose the correct medication that best manages your personal symptoms”.

There are many different OTC medications that can help relieve various types of symptoms caused by seasonal allergies. Antihistamines are used for itching and sneezing. Dr. Brandeisky notes that OTC steroid nasal sprays are the best way to manage stuffiness symptoms. If OTC medications are not working, he recommends visiting an ear, nose and throat specialist for testing.

“Allergy testing is the best way to determine exactly what is causing symptoms,” says Dr. Brandeisky.    

For a free physician referral to an expert at Ocean Medical Center, call 1-800-DOCTORS, or locate a physician at www.OceanMedicalCenter.com or check out Dr. Brandeisky’s website at ourENTdoc.com.