With the right treatment for your allergies, you can enjoy all that summer has to offer in Atlanta.
Summer is a time for outdoor fun. Here in Atlanta, we have so much to enjoy! Maybe you plan on enjoying some of Atlanta’s urban specialties like the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Or perhaps you’re looking for some water fun at Lake Lanier. Maybe some friends invited you to hike or picnic on one of the hundreds of amazing trails around the Metro Area. Whatever your plans are, don’t let allergies slow you down.
Allergies in Atlanta
Atlanta is known for its natural beauty. We pride ourselves on our natural tree canopy that covers more than a third of our city. But with all that wonderful vegetation comes some pretty serious pollen.
Pollen is worst in Atlanta in the spring and fall, though different types of allergens peak throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
A pollen count measures the number of pollen grains that land on a given area during a specified time. They give scientists and the public alike an idea of just how bad the pollen is on a given day, and what people with allergies should expect. Any pollen count over 1,000 is considered to be very high. In the spring and fall, Atlanta sometimes sees pollen counts as high as 2,000 or more. That means that people with allergies can be affected far more than usual and symptoms can be unusually severe.
Thankfully, there are a number of treatments for pollen related allergies, ranging from the simple to the more medically invasive.
The simplest treatment is to avoid allergens in the first place. This means keeping doors and windows shut and making sure your ducts are cleaned regularly to keep out excess pollen. It also means staying indoors. Of course, no one wants to spend all summer indoors, so there are a number of ways to relieve or prevent symptoms when you do want to go out.
Over-the-counter medications for allergies come in three main types: nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants.
Nasal steroid sprays introduce a small puff of liquid medication directly into the nasal passage. The medication reduces swelling and mucus in the nasal passageway, two major symptoms of pollen related allergies.
Antihistamines work to block the body’s response to allergens. When the body of someone with allergies detects allergens, it can set off an immune response that produces histamines, which attach to cells and cause them to swell and leak, producing familiar symptoms like a runny nose, itching, sneezing, and watery eyes. Antihistamines keep the histamines from attaching to your cells, which prevents the symptoms from occurring.
Decongestants work to relieve the stuffy nose and sinuses that come with some allergies. They work by reducing swelling in the nasal passage and sinuses. That helps to relieve the feeling of stuffiness and improves air flow.
When Over-the-Counter Doesn’t Work
Sometimes, over-the-counter medications are not strong enough to treat allergies. There are a few signs that it may be time to call a doctor. Some signs may include:
Chronic issues like sinus infections, snoring, or nasal congestion
Allergies that continue through several months of each year
over-the-counter options are no longer effective or have unwanted side effects
Signs of asthma like struggling to breathe, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath
If you just don’t want to take over-the-counter medications indefinitely
In this case, it may be time to call a doctor, like the specialists at Peachtree Ear, Nose and Throat Center. They can help you determine a better course of treatment for your allergies. They may suggest stronger prescription medications, or you may be a good candidate for an allergy shot.
The specialists at Peachtree Ear, Nose and Throat Center can also help treat and prevent food allergies.