SURVIVING SPRING ALLERGY SEASON
Lake Wales, FL – As your nose, throat and eyes have probably already told you, 2016 is expected to be an exceptionally bad spring allergy season, and people who suffer from seasonal allergies need to be prepared. The unusual up-and-down weather patterns across the country all winter have spawned “pollen superbursts” this Spring.
“It’s important to manage allergy symptoms early, before the effects take a toll on overall quality of life,” said Dr. Ajay Mangal, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Lake Wales Medical Center. “Left untreated, seasonal allergies can cause sinus swelling, leading to chronic sinusitis.”
While Americans spend nearly $2 billion each year on over-the-counter allergy remedies, many feel their effectiveness is minimal. There are also potential risks to self-medicating, as some over the counter medications can interfere or interact poorly with other medications. If you suffer from more than just the occasional sneezing fit or itchy eyes, it’s best to schedule time with an ear, nose and throat specialist to map out a plan.
“There are many different types of environmental allergies, including the most common: pollen, grass, ragweed and mold,” says Dr.Mangal. “There are also a variety of potential symptoms, with each allergen affecting each person differently. Working with your doctor to determine what you are allergic to and how to best manage your unique symptoms should reduce your suffering dramatically.”
A variety of diagnostic tools help physicians narrow in on the specific cause of allergies, including skin tests, journal tracking, and blood tests. Your physician can then focus on developing the most appropriate treatment path. Options may include a combination of antihistamines, decongestants, nasal steroid or cromolyn sodium sprays, eye drops, sublingual tablets or allergy shots.
Timing is also important. Experts agree that for best results, you should begin applying appropriate allergy medications and remedies at least one to two weeks prior to the start of allergy season, and continue with the protocol throughout the season. It’s much more difficult to halt allergy symptoms once they’ve started.
Dr. Mangal is accepting new patients; his office can be reached at 863-676-1960.