Spring has arrived in Western New York, so Spring allergies are starting, and I can literally feel it in my eyes. All indications are pointing toward a significant allergy season given our very mild winter. An allergy “season” when certain trees/grasses/weeds are blooming lasts about 6-8 weeks and you can follow the pollen count in our community at www.Pollen.com.
Common allergy symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
There are many things you can do to help ease your child’s symptoms; they include:
- Keeping the windows in your home closed.
- Showering at night and washing hair to get the pollen out of the hair so they don’t sleep with it on their pillow all night.
Over-the-counter medications for allergies fall into 2 main categories:
- Antihistamines – Can be taken on days when symptoms occur and are good for the itchy, sneezy, drippy nose symptoms.
- Non-sedating: Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, and Xyzal can be taken in the morning.
- Sedating: Benadryl is best taken at night.
- Nasal spray: Astepro
- Intranasal steroids – Should be started ideally at the start of the allergy season and continued daily throughout the season and are best for nasal congestion.
Approach treating your child’s allergy symptoms in a stepwise manner. Start with keeping the windows closed and showering and washing their hair at night before bedtime. If that isn’t enough, try using Benadryl at night. Add a nonsedating antihistamine or nasal steroid spray in the morning if the symptoms are still not tolerable. If your child has a lot of eye symptoms, an allergy eye drop like Zaditor or Pataday works well. Lastly, there are some days when the pollen count is so high that nothing will help moderate your child’s symptoms, when that happens stay inside and play board games!
Hope this helps you navigate the rapidly approaching allergy season.