Allergies: It’s Going to be a Tough Season in Charleston!

By Health First on February 22, 2012 in Allergies

The weather is great, but is your head throbbing, nose running, or throat scratchy?  Is it allergy season already? Charleston has experienced a mild winter this year, and spring is going to be here sooner than usual.  This weather has meant great time outdoors for many of us, but it also means an earlier spring allergy season.  Specifically, those in Charleston that are affected by pollen may experience symptoms earlier than usual.  Here is what you should know regarding seasonal allergies:

Many people with Seasonal Allergies don’t know they have the problem

When patients visit Health First, they often present their condition as a sinus infection.  However, the sinus infection may merely be the result of an unresolved or untreated allergy problem.  Many patients think they have a “sinus infection” when in reality they have untreated Allergic Rhinitis.  These two problems OFTEN go hand in hand.  At Health First, we have patients that have been cured from their annual bouts of sinus infections simply by us aggressively solving their allergy problem.

How can someone know if an allergy problem is present? 

  • Test Yourself:  A fast and inexpensive “test” you can use is to try a strong over the counter antihistamine and see if any relief occurs within 8 hours. If relief occurs, then you likely have an allergic component to your case.
  • Let us prescribe potent Allergy Treatment plan customized to your symptoms. If you get the amazing results we expect, you have an allergy component to your case.
  • Get a Blood Test:  Health First also offers various blood tests for all sorts of allergies, from seasonal allergies to food allergies.

If you feel you are suffering from a severe case or struggling with strong symptoms, then come by Health First immediately.  Health First offers higher potency allergy treatments and injections that result in greater relief within 2-48 hours.

Tips for Seasonal Allergy Sufferers

Take your antihistamine at least 1 hour before being exposed to the allergen or before going outside. Procrastinating until after your symptoms have begun means that you will suffer until your already released histamine has the time to wear off.  In short, it will  delay your ability to feel relief.  Consider hypoallergenic pillowcases, stronger air purifiers with filters (especially in the rooms where you spend the most time), and use strong hypoallergenic air filters in your home and office.  Finally, when possible, be aware of, and limit, all exposures to the following:

  • Pollen on pets, pollen on your clothing, etc.
  • Dander from pets
  • Moldy and damp situations (working under the house)
  • Windy days
  • Weather fronts that move through our area
  • Weather changes, especially hot to cold or cold to hot.

*Notable Exception: Rain can help some allergy sufferers for a day or so by reducing airborne pollen

When should an allergy sufferer, or a suspected one, visit Health First?

  • If you think your allergy pill(s) have stopped working
    • We can develop a new regimen that works!
    • If you need confirmation of the diagnosis
    • If you suspect you have developed an infection on top of, or as a result of, the allergy problem
    • If you are suffering in any way, and struggling to carry on daily tasks
    • If you think you need to see a specialist

*We are experts in preparing your case for the specialist to maximize your success. We often tune up all your treatments BEFORE sending you to the specialist, so that the specialist can get straight to the specialty treatments and procedures that only they provide

What does Health First do to help allergy sufferers?

  • We will get you on a potent antihistamine regiment, individually tailored to your case, even if you have high blood pressure or other chronic conditions
  • We may add a Leukotriene Receptor Antagonist to the regiment (Singulair)
  • We may add a burst of Prednisone or Decadron to the regiment
  • We may add inhaled medications (via inhalers and/or at home nebulizers)
    • Examples Include:  Pulmacort, Albuterol, Duoneb, Flovent, Albuterol, Foradil, and others.
    • We sometimes utilize our allergy blood testing
    • We sometimes utilize our digital Xrays (sinuses, lungs) as indicated

Anyone who is suffering from allergies should come to Health First early this spring season.  We can usually get you started in 4 minutes or less (guaranteed less than 30 minutes!)