Need relief from springtime allergies? Read advice from a medical specialist…

LYNDALL HARRISON, MD
Chief, Allergy and Immunology
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Harrison has been named a “Super Doctor” by Texas Monthly magazine.

Well, we’re smack dab in the middle of springtime, a time of nature’s rebirth, longer daylight hours, and blossoming flowers. However, it’s also a time for heavy amounts of tree pollens circulating in the air.

For anyone with allergic reactions to these usually harmless elements, this could be a time for serial sneezing; irritated, itchy eyes; and, for some, sinus infections and asthma flare ups.

What’s causing these allergic reactions?

Around the Greater Houston area in the Spring, the main culprit is usually pollen.

Local springtime brings excessive amounts of tree pollens such as oak tree pollen. In fact, the oak pollen count has been especially high this year.

Most of the year, outdoor allergens can also include pollen from grasses, weeds, and mold spores. And Houston’s high humidity also promotes elevated dust mite levels.

True allergies affect about 30 percent of the population. But Houston’s varying weather and air quality conditions can cause those without allergies to suffer runny noses, nasal drainage and congestion, and irritated eyes.

Get relief from allergy symptoms

The first step is avoidance. If you know what’s causing your allergic reactions, this is certainly a helpful defense. However, with many airborne allergens, that’s usually not a practical option.

There are effective treatment options available. The most used medications for relieving seasonal symptoms are antihistamines and nasal sprays, many of which are now available over the counter. For more severe symptoms, several prescription medications are an option.

For anyone suffering repeated allergy problems, an effective strategy is to have an evaluation by a board-certified Allergy specialist. The exam may involve a skin or blood test to help determine whether pollen, animal dander, dust mites, or other environmental factors are the source of symptoms. Skin tests are usually performed because they are rapid and dependable.

For anyone seeking long-lasting relief and who isn’t responding well to medications, a program of allergy shots administered by an allergy specialist may be an excellent treatment option. Also known as Allergy Immunotherapy, a series of shots has the potential to lessen sensitivity to pollen and other allergens and bring patients the long-term relief they always wanted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A word of caution regarding “natural” remedies

Because something is marketed as “natural” doesn’t always mean you’re going to get relief. If you have tree pollen or plant allergies, some alleged herbal remedies may exacerbate symptoms. Treatments should always be based on sound, evidence-based medical procedures.

Dr. Harrison cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s

Berthelsen Main Campus and Kingwood Clinic.

For appointments, call 713-442-0000.