Why such a rough year? I believe it is because an unusually cold spring kept the grass and trees (see below) from blooming for many weeks, leading to a supercharged, nearly instant, explosive amount of blooming. A very unusual phenomenon that has, locally, created such a pulse of pollen that it is overwhelming therapies.
LungsThe pollen is breathed in to the lungs, and if your allergic to it, the lungs get red, intensely itchy, swollen, and fluid (mucus) accumulates- causing the main experience of lung allergies: cough and wheezing.
- Antihistamines and other blockers- These drugs block key sequences in the chemical pathways that cause the itchy inflammation to occur. Good blocking means no reaction, no suffering, problems controlled.
- Steroids- These drugs kill the cells of the immune system that cause all inflammation, including allergic inflammation. When these drugs work allergy symptoms tend to improve since the cells making the reaction happen are wiped out.
- Allergy Shots- This technique creates a different class of antibody to the thing you are allergic to, so when that thing comes in contact with you, there will be no reaction.
There are basically four oral forms and several eye forms available, and they are available to everyone since they are all over-the-counter and so safe even young infants can use them safely.
All four are truly very safe medications, the only significant side effect seen is sleepiness, and three of the four are formulated to make that uncommon.
It turns out everyone is different when it comes to which work. For some, this one works and that one does not, so it is best to try one, if it doesn’t help, try the other.
Here are the four:
- Loratidine or Claritin- each dose (ranges 5-10 mg) lasts 24 hour, less drowsy
- Cetirizine or Zyrtec- each dose (ranges 5-10 mg) lasts 24 hour, less drowsy
- Fexofenadine or Allegra- each dose (ranges 60-180 mg) lasts 24 hour, less drowsy
- Diphenhydramine or Benadryl- each dose (ranges 6.25-25 mg) lasts 4 hours, more drowsy
- This is an unusually severe year of allergy. Don’t make long-term treatment plans based on the severity of this year’s reactions.
- Spring allergies are the result of an allergy to pollen, mainly the pollen from grass and trees, not flowers. There is no need to go searching for what your child is allergic to if their symptoms are itchy eyes and runny nose without fever in the spring during peak blossom times- the cause is pollen allergy.
- Treatments include oral antihistamine for all allergic symptoms, and:
- Eye antihistamines for inflamed eyes
- Nasal steroids for inflamed nose
- Inhaled steroids for inflamed lungs
- Spring allergies are harmless- they cause great agonies, but no harm. And they are very temporary, passing as the blooming intervals pass. And they are very treatable.
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