Allergy season is here. The trees in Nebraska are starting to pollinate and many are starting to feel the classic allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy nose and itchy, watery eyes.
Known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, allergies are reactions of the body's immune system to a normally harmless substance. In the spring, summer and fall, tiny pollen grains are released from trees, weeds and grasses. These grains hitch rides on currents of air.
University of Nebraska Medical Center Allergist Jill Poole, M.D., said about 20 to 40 percent of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies.
"This is the time when spring allergies catch up with you," said Dr. Poole, an associate professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine. "The trees start pollenating and this is the exact time to get allergy medications out of the cabinet and start to use nose sprays and antihistamines. I advise patients to do this to try to fend off the allergy symptoms before they get behind the eight ball."
Dr. Poole said if you have allergy symptoms and over-the-counter medications don't work well, she recommends getting tested.
Here are tips on how to lessen the uncomfortable effects of allergies:
For more information about allergies, go to www.aaaai.org.