Spring allergies are in full force with sounds like coughing and sneezing being added to the sounds of nature that come with changing seasons.
Dr. Ted Kebel, a pediatric allergist from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, provides some information about remedies, treatment and diagnosis of seasonal allergies.
Allergies are the immune system's reaction to harmless, airborne pollen released by plants. The body is reacting to pollen, sending the body's defenses out of control causing symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and throat, congestion and nasal pressure.
Natural ways to avoid allergy symptoms are keeping the house windows closed and working indoors.
There are also medications that help relieve symptoms that people can buy over the counter. Long-lasting antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra), nasal steroids (Flonase, Nasacort, Rhinocort), and antihistamine eye drops (Zaditor) tend to work well relieving symptoms.
Other options that help with symptoms after being heavily exposed to pollen are nasal saline irrigation squirt bottles.
However when symptoms don't go away or lessen after using medication, it's time to see a specialist.
A specialist can offer additional testing to see if there are any underlying conditions or triggers causing symptoms. From there patients can discuss treatment options and immunotherapy, or allergy shots, that can change the immune system's reaction to allergens over a period of time.
When allergies hinder the body don't sit around and suffer, visit one of the following locations to discuss treatment options:
Pediatric Allergy & Immunology
35 Michigan Street NE, Suite 3003
Phone: (616) 267-8150
Spectrum Health Medical Group Allergy & Immunology
3271 Clear Vista Court NE
Phone: (616) 267-7125
For more information, visit helendevoschildrens.org/allergyandimmunology.