Richmond’s humidity and geography make it a perfect destination for many different allergens to be present. Whether it’s the grasses in the summer, ragweed in the fall, the ever-popular pollen in the Spring, or all of the above, many Richmonders suffer from seasonal allergies. Whether you have lived in Richmond all of your life, or if you just recently moved to the area, you will need to know effective ways to fight your seasonal allergies.
Common Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
The symptoms of seasonal allergies don't always sound so terrible to people who don't suffer from them. If you have allergies, though, you know that even common symptoms can work together to make you feel miserable.
Some of the most common seasonal allergies symptoms include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy nose and eyes
You may even feel fatigued, which can make it challenging to just to get through a typical day.
Treatment Options for Seasonal Allergies
There are three major components of allergy treatment: allergy avoidance, medical treatment, and immunotherapies.
Education and Avoidance
Education and avoidance teaches you how you can stay away from pollen, mold, and other allergens that cause your allergic reactions. That starts with allergy testing to find out exactly what is triggering your symptoms. From there, you can learn to avoid your triggers by staying indoors as much as possible on days when your allergens are particularly high, or closing your home windows when there is a high pollen count. If you don’t know what is causing the problem though, you won’t know what simple solutions may be available for you.
You can use a site like Pollen.com to get forecasts for Richmond and other cities.
Depending on the severity of your seasonal allergies, you may find relief from over-the-counter drugs like:
- Antihistamine pills and liquids
- Nasal sprays
- Decongestants like Sudafed
There are plenty of OTC options, so you may want to talk to your doctor about choosing one that will likely work well for you.
If your symptoms continue or you feel a lot of unwanted side effects from your OTC medication, then you may need to get a prescription medication. Your doctor should have recommendations that will help you feel better.
Immunotherapy for Seasonal Allergies
If you have severe allergies, or allergies that span over multiple seasons, there is a good chance that you could benefit from immunotherapy. You may think of this type of therapy as allergy shots. While no one likes getting poked with a needle, this is often the most effective way to treat severe or chronic allergies.
You'll start with a build-up phase, during which you will probably get one or two shots per week until your body builds a resistance to the allergen. After you reach an effective dose you enter the maintenance phase. You won't have to get shots as often during this phase but it can take several years before you finish the treatment program.
Seasonal allergies can make people too miserable to work, go to school, and take care of other daily responsibilities.
When you're done letting seasonal allergies affect your life, make an appointment with a specialist at Virginia Ear, Nose, and Throat.