Though it may still be chilly out, now’s the time to start thinking spring — spring allergies, that is. With weather patterns changing so much in recent years, it’s been tougher to predict the start of the spring allergy season.
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To minimize allergy-related misery, ear, nose and throat specialist Mike Benninger, MD offers 3 tips:
1. Start taking medications before symptoms start
If you live in the northern United States, March is the time to begin treatment. Dr. Benninger says, “If you aren’t using a nasal steroid spray and rely mostly on non-sedating antihistamines like Claritin or Allegra, it’s not unreasonable to start them before you have significant symptoms.” He adds that studies support starting nasal steroid sprays two to three weeks before spring starts can make a big difference in nasal symptoms.
2. Minimize your exposure early in allergy season
Dr. Benninger says it’s not a good time to plan a camping vacation in the beginning of the allergy months. At that time, it’s especially important to avoid allergens.
3. Make sure all your allergy prescriptions are filled
Dr. Benninger says it’s important to have your medications ready when you need them. And if you have asthma and seasonal allergies, be sure you are controlling both conditions, he adds. If your allergies aren’t well controlled, they can trigger or worsen asthma.
Taking care of your allergies ahead of time can make for a more enjoyable spring season.