FALL NEWS: Allergies

When the autumn weeds start to flower and we start raking the leaves, many people experience runny nose, itchy nose and congestion, itchy, watery eyes, scratchy sore throat or cough. These can be symptoms of allergies caused by pollen.

Pollens are tiny grains released into the air from trees, grasses and weeds which cause the immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies then cause the body to produce histamine which triggers the production of mucous and causes itching. When the pollen count is higher the symptoms are worse. Local weather reports and newspapers will often report the pollen count. Symptoms are generally worse on windy days because the pollen can spread and symptoms are better on rainy days because the air is washed clean of pollen.

Some common sense ways to improve symptoms are to stay inside with the windows closed, run the A/C or an air purifier and wash hands, face and hair after being outside. It is also helpful to clean the air filter frequently and damp dust and vacuum frequently.

Antihistamines such as Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec can be used to decrease the symptoms. It is a good idea to call the office to discuss the appropriate choice and dose for your child.

If these do not help, then an appointment should be scheduled to discuss other treatments and possible allergy testing.

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