Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How to Find Relief from Seasonal Allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you are not alone. Morebrthan 50 million Americans experience allergies every year, according to thebrCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, and Utah’s warm, dry climatebrprovides the perfect condition for allergens to thrive.

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Common allergens in Utah County include trees such as Arizonabrcypress, box elder, maple and several species of willow trees, weeds such asbrragweed and sagebrush, and grasses such as Bermuda grass and Timothy.

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“Seasonal allergic disease can affect multiple areas of the body,brincluding the nose, eyes, sinuses, lungs, skin and even esophagus,” said Dr.brJoshua Burkhardt, an allergy and immunology specialist at Revere Health. “Forbrmany people, symptoms can be severe enough to affect sleep, work productivitybrand school performance.”

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Dr. Burkhardt also explained people with even mild seasonalbrallergies can have more anxiety, depression and trouble with socialbrinteractions. Treatments such as antihistamines, nasal rinses, subcutaneousbrimmunotherapy and sublingual immunotherapy can greatly reduce the severity ofbrthe disease and make life more manageable.

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Most people who experience seasonal allergies are familiar withbrantihistamines, which are medications that help reduce the severity of allergybrsymptoms. Claritin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, for example, are all antihistamines.brHowever, over-the-counter allergy medications are typically best for treatingbrmild to moderate symptoms.

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Nasal rinses can also be successful in treating mild to moderatebrcongestion caused by allergies, but if your symptoms are hard to control, or ifbryou can’t avoid the allergen, immunotherapy or sublingual drops are anbreffective treatment option.

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“Subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots) and sublingualbrimmunotherapy (allergy drops) are a non-steroid option for treating allergicbrdisease,” said Dr. Burkhardt. “I recommend these to anyone who experiences anybrsort of life impairment from having seasonal allergies, cannot toleratebrmedications to treat their symptoms or who would rather use a natural approachbrto treatment.”

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Subcutaneous immunotherapy is a highly personalized treatment inbrwhich an allergist injects you with pollens, molds, dust mites or animal danderbrto which you are allergic. Over time, this treatment can lead to a remission ofbrallergy symptoms and even prevent you from developing new allergies. 

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Sublingual (meaning “under the tongue”) drops are similar tobrsubcutaneous immunotherapy in that they help your immune system become desensitizedbrto specific allergens, but they are not typically covered by insurance.

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If you need help managing your allergy symptoms, know that help isbravailable. Dr. Burkhardt recommends talking to an allergist about your triggersbrand symptoms to find a treatment method that best fits your needs.

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