Life Without Allergies – Is It Possible?

With spring upon us, seasonal allergies are most likely right around the corner. Most allergy sufferers are probably preparing for watery eyes and an itchy nose. However, contrary to popular belief, people who suffer from allergies do not have to live with them.

Allergic reactions occur when your immune system experiences an abnormal reaction with a particular substance in the environment. In general, most people suffer from seasonal allergies, which occur in spring, early summer, and early fall. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen. Pollens are microscopic cells from trees, grasses and weeds.

Symptoms & Tips

Typical symptoms for allergy sufferers may include an itchy and runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and nasal congestion. Some people, especially children, can develop allergic asthma.

These symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. To help control these symptoms, try practicing these tips:

  • Woman Sneezing from Seasonal AllergiesIf possible, keep windows and doors shut during pollen season, especially during the daytime.
  • Drive with your windows closed.
  • Keep pets that spend time outdoors out of the bedroom.
  • If outdoors on days with high pollen counts, take a shower and wash your hair after returning indoors.
  • Dry laundry in a dryer only; do not hang clothes outside.
  • Try taking over-the-counter antihistamines.

If little success is found after trying these steps, it may be time to see a specialist.

A specialist will determine the cause of the allergies through skin, blood, or breathing testing and create a treatment plan. Multiple solutions are available to control symptoms. One option is prescription medication, including prescription nasal steroid sprays.

If the allergies are severe enough, and avoidance of allergens and prescription nasal sprays do not work, patients may be candidates for allergy shots. Allergy shots work well for 80 percent of patients, because they can desensitize patients to the allergen. In some cases, patients claim cure over five years.

Get the Help You Need This Spring

Allergy symptoms are controllable when taking the proper steps to manage them. For more information on how to control your allergies, please visit the OSF Medical Group to learn more about OSF Allergy. Don’t hesitate to call our office to find out how our staff can help you.

About Author: Jamie Peel

Working as a Marketing Specialist at OSF St. Joseph, two days are never the same for Jamie Peel. However, one constant in Jamie's position is writing. She acts as the hospital's writer, working closely with clinical and non-clinical staff to offer up-to-date and reliable information regarding health trends, hospital updates, and more.

Jamie received her BS in Mass Media from Illinois State University and has a background in broadcast journalism which helps her tell stories for OSF St. Joseph every day.

This author is no longer writing for this blog.

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