As the region finally welcomes spring, temperatures are on the rise, but that means pollen counts are up, too—and this can be limiting for seasonal allergy suffers looking to take workouts, pets, and activities outdoors.
Thursday April 12, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group allergy and immunology expert, Stephen Scranton, MD appeared on ABC Washington’s News Channel 8 to help seasonal allergy sufferers prevent allergic reactions, avoid exposure, and manage symptoms.
Dr. Scranton encouraged those at home to stop the reaction before it starts. Be sure to check the pollen count before you head outdoors and time workouts or activities in the evening when pollens are less concentrated. He also shared that most allergy medication is most effective when taken a couple of weeks before being exposed to allergens. These may include nasal corticosteroid sprays. Other medications tend to work a little more quickly – such as oral antihistamines, oral decongestants, allergy eye drops, and oral anti-leukotriene medications. For severe allergy sufferers, there are other treatments in the form of allergy shots and the newer allergy sublingual tablets.
Next, Dr. Scranton stressed the importance of avoidance or protecting yourself from pollen. When you head outside, create physical barriers. Protect your eyes with a big hat and close-fitting sunglasses and use nasal/saline spray to wash out pollen.
Finally, when you return inside, Dr. Scranton recommended taking steps to recover and to prevent bringing pollen or irritants indoors. Change your clothes and shower after you’ve been outdoors. Take off your shoes when coming inside and be sure to wipe down your pets after a walk.
Planning to take your activities outside? Learn more from Dr. Scranton. See the full interview here. Planning to take your activities outside? See the full interview here.