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Allergy Season

It’s your favorite time of year. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and your nose is just beginning that warning little tickle of massive sniffles to come. Yes, it’s allergy season, folks! This month we are going to address the current allergy conditions for this year as well as some tips on how to power through spring and
summer without too much worry or discomfort.

El Niño

You may have noticed a little extra rain and humidity this winter. That is because of a weather phenomenon called “El Nino” that occurs unpredictably, about every two to seven years. While this is great, particularly for our patients in Southern California, for raising water levels, it can wreak havoc on your sinuses. This is because increased water and warmth during the winter months makes for very healthy root systems that are ready and rearing to go when spring hits, releasing pollen earlier than most years.

Grab a Tissue

The earlier and increased release of pollen means that this allergy season will likely pack a more powerful punch than you’re used to, particularly for adults. For children, however, this can go either way.

Respiratory allergies, like those triggered by pollen, mold, dander and the like, are relatively rare in young children. It takes several years for your little one to develop reactions to a specific allergen, which explains why these types of allergies are even more rare in infants and babies. More than likely, if your tot is suffering from a runny nose and teary eyes, it’s probably a little cold and not the hay fever you might be experiencing.

Treatment

If your little one is indeed getting the full force of seasonal allergies, treatment options are pretty limited. Over the counter antihistamines might quell symptoms for a little while, but they may have the adverse affect of drowsiness. Longer acting allergy medications, such as Zyrtec, cause less drowsiness, but are less effective.
Nasal sprays, as you have probably experienced, can become less powerful with repeated use.

The best treatment for allergies is simply avoiding the allergen whenever possible. We know how hard it is to stay indoors when the sun is shining however, so it may be best to encourage your child to get used to the occasional stuffiness without too much medicinal interference. If your child’s allergy symptoms take a turn for the worse or become unmanageable, please call us to schedule an appointment. Allergy shots, though they too have their limitations, may be an option.

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