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When many people think of allergies, they often think of spring. After all, trees are starting to bloom and pollen (so much pollen) is in the air.
If you suffer from allergies, you may be in for a rough spring. Allergy specialists are warning the annual season of sniffling and sneezing may be especially severe this year.
The most common symptoms of spring allergies include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. It’s like having a bad cold but having it last for months rather than a week. It’s a miserable state to be in.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects on your everyday life.
If you’re hoping to avoid a trip to UHS, consider trying out a few over-the-counter medications first. Nasal steroids like Nasacord and eye drops like Alaway (Ketotifin) are both effective at reducing allergy symptoms. Alaway eye drops differ from other brands like Visine in that they are antihistamine, no decongestant drops, meaning you won’t get red eyes from overuse like you sometimes can from Visine.
We get lots of questions about allergy shots around this time of year. Althought some people with severe allergies may benefit from allergy shots, keep in mind that shots must be given once or twice a week year round for 2 to 3 years in order to be effective. If you are not already on a treatment program, you will need to be referred to an outside allergist before you can get started. If you’re already on a regular treatment program, we can continue your program at UHS.
For more information, including our allergy and immunization hours, visit http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/services/medical/allergy-immunization/#2