Say goodbye to seasonal allergies


Spring is approaching and so is its unsettled weather that causes several types of allergies. Seasonal respiratory allergies, congestion, itchy noses and constant sneezing (allergic Rhinitis) are widely common during this season. Moreover, eye tearing, redness, itchiness and dry lids (Conjunctivitis) may occur.

Since these symptoms are seasonal, they are considered seasonal respiratory, eye and nose allergies. Most often Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis appear in tandem, sometimes accompanied by a respiratory allergy. The main causes for allergic reactions are an increase in dust, as well as pollen activity and use of air conditioning. There are also other factors that may stimulate the immune system and increase the number and effectiveness of mast cells, which respond to the increased production of the allergy hormone, histamine, in the body. This causes inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose, respiratory tract and eye (Conjunctivitis), which leads to the aforementioned symptoms of seasonal allergies.

So, how can we protect ourselves from the symptoms of seasonal allergies?

The first step is to stay away from all factors that stimulate the immune system (gardens, parks, dust, air conditioning and perfumes) to limit or prevent the production of histamine.If necessary, wear sun glasses to protect the eyes and a mask to prevent Rhinitis.

After consulting a doctor, it is possible to start taking oral anti-allergic medication 14-21 days before the start of spring to minimize the symptoms of Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis. These can be first generation medications that cause drowsiness or second generation treatments that do not. Others, such as Ketotifen, inhibit the production of histamine.

Nasal sprays that inhibit mast cells from producing histamine, such as Cromolyin, Cromoglycate and Azelastin as well as eye drops that contain the aforementioned ingredients in addition to the following: Ketotifen, Olopatadine and Epinastin, which also inhibit the effectiveness of histamine after its production, can also be used 14-21 days before the start of spring.

So what are the treatments for both Rhinitis and Conjunctivitis?

As soon as the aforementioned symptoms appear, it is important to immediately consult a doctor to start treatment and prevent a worsening of the condition.

The available treatments are:
1) Antihistamines, either oral or in other forms, that prevent the secretion of histamine from the cells.

2) Nasal and eye drops and sprays that contain antihistamines, alone or in conjunction with decongestants such as Chloropheniramine/Naphazolin - not to be used for more than 3-5 days.

3) Natural tear replacement eye drops to help combat dryness of the eye and add moisture.

4) If all else fails, nasal sprays and eye and nasal drops containing Cortisol and its derivatives to control the condition and prevent it from deteriorating.