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Severe allergy symptoms plague annual seasonal sufferers

April 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you're an allergy sufferer, you know it's pretty brutal out there. If you think your symptoms are getting worse, a recent study found pollen counts are on the rise and they could double by 2040.

Allergist Dr. Katie Marks says allergies are getting to more and more people. Her patients are feeling a worsening of symptoms.

"I'm seeing many patients this year that have told me they've never had allergies before," said Marks.

We hear all the time it's going to be the worst allergy season ever, but doctors say it is getting worse. They blame the longer periods of warm weather, which means more pollen in the air, especially this year with tree pollen. Combine this with the windy weather we're having and it's no wonder people are suffering.

Marks says symptoms include frequent sneezing, nasal congestion, an itchy runny nose, itchy watery eyes and an itchy throat.

She says it's not a cold if coughing and throat-clearing continues for weeks. Many people will also experience hives and worsening of eczema. She says seeing an allergist can tell you exactly what you're allergic to and how to create a strategy against it.

"Your allergist can give you prescription medication, like nasal sprays or inhalers if you have asthma. They can also talk to you about allergy shots, which is another form of treatment that often allows many patients to stop using medications," said Marks.

Marks says in these conditions, over-the-counter antihistamines won't be enough. Winds are carrying new pollens to our area.

"Sinus rinse is very helpful and that's over the counter," said Marks.

And don't treat itchy eyes with drops that treat redness.

"Because they constrict the blood vessels in the eyes and then when they wear off, which can happen within hours, there can actually be a rebound effect," said Marks.

Marks advises to look for preservative-free artificial tears.


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