Cincinnati Allergy Services
If you’re suffering from Cincinnati allergies, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it. We know how you feel. Most of our patients come to us after they’ve suffered through season after season of runny noses, itchy eyes, sore throats, and fatigue. The good news? You don’t have to wait to get some relief. Your best bet is to see a board-certified allergist. After a consultation with one of our doctors, we can discuss all of your major allergy triggers, medications that can provide some immediate relief, and detailed advice for how to avoid allergy triggers in the future.
Common Allergy Symptoms
If you have allergies in Cincinnati, there’s a good chance you experience these symptoms.
• Runny nose
• Itchy or watery eyes
• Sinus congestion
• Post-nasal drip
Other Allergy Symptoms
Sometimes, these symptoms are mistaken for other ailments. Talk to your allergist about these and your other symptoms
• Poor quality of sleep
• Sore throat
• Loss of taste/smell
How to Get Short-Term Allergy Relief
Here are some tips for how to get some short-term relief for your seasonal allergies.
Take an over the counter non-sedating antihistamine. Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra all work. However, buy the generic versions (cetirizine, loratadine, and fexofenadine) instead. They work just as well, but they cost less. Avoid sedating antihistamines such as Benadryl and most over-the-counter cold and allergy formulations. Non-sedating antihistamines work just as well, and the sedating kind aren’t safe if you’re driving or doing physical labor.
Try nasal sprays. (We can’t stress this enough.) Nasacort, Flonase and Rhinocort are a nasal steroids just like prescription ones Nasonex or Flonase, and they’re it’s now sold over-the-counter. If you want to improve your allergy symptoms without seeing a doctor, this is the most important thing you can try. Some people also like nasal saline since it’s just salt water and not a medicine. And, although they can be messy, Neti pots or saline rinses can be very effective in combating allergies. However, most people shouldn’t use them every day for longer than a month though, since they can strip out the nose’s healthy tissue. To make your own solution at home, mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of water. IMPORTANT: Make sure you use boiled or distilled water so you don’t accidentally get an amoeba.
For longer-term allergies, use saline sprays such as Ocean or Ayr (or their generic counterparts). You can safely use these several times a day to help wash out allergens and mucus. However, avoid Afrin or other nasal decongestants. They work well for a few hours, but then your allergy symptoms come back worse than before (called rebound). They also work less and less well over time (addiction). In addition to nasal saline and nasal steroids, you might want to try prescription nasal antihistamines for your allergies. Talk to your doctor, or contact us for more details.
Here are really helpful videos for how to use Neti pots, saline rinses, and nose sprays for your Cincinnati allergies:
For eye allergy symptoms, use over-the-counter drops containing ketotifen (Zaditor, Zyrtec, or Claritin eye drops or their generic counterparts). Avoid Visine or similar products that constrict the blood vessels in your eyes. If these drops don’t work, some people get more relief from prescription allergy eye drops. Talk to your doctor or call us for an appointment.
Each plant has a period of pollination that does not vary much from year to year. However, the weather can affect the amount of pollen in the air at any time. Generally, the entire pollen season lasts from February or March through October.
Seasonal allergies are often caused by tree pollen in the early spring. During the late spring and early summer, grasses often cause allergy symptoms. Late summer and fall hay fever is caused by weeds.
Here are some tips to keep your allergies at bay:
• Keep your windows closed at night and use air conditioning, which cleans, cools and dries the air.
• Try to stay indoors when the pollen or mold levels are reported to be high.
• Wear a pollen mask and sunglasses when outside to keep pollen out of your mouth, nose, and eyes.
• Don’t mow lawns or rake leaves because it stirs up pollen and molds.
• Avoid hanging sheets or clothes outside to dry. When traveling by car, keep your windows closed.
• Be careful on bike rides as they increase your exposure.
• Avoid hair gels and sprays. They trap pollen and increase your exposure.
• Take a shower at the end of the day to reduce your pollen exposure overnight.
• Take a vacation to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach!
Avoiding Outdoor Molds
Molds are tiny fungi related to mushrooms but without stems, roots or leaves. Their spores float in the air like pollen. Molds can be found almost anywhere, including soil, plants and rotting wood and can cause significant allergies. Outdoor mold spores begin to increase as temperatures rise in the spring and reach their peak in July in warmer states and through October.
Here are some useful allergy tips from the Dr. Oz show:
Dr. Oz – Allergy Season Survival
How to Get Long-Term Allergy Relief
Allergy shots are the best way to feel better. Multiple medical studies indicate that allergy shots are the most effective treatment for allergies, and the results aren’t even close. Allergy shots help you feel better and save you money in the long run by reducing medication use, ER and hospital visits, and missed work and school.
Quite simply, allergy shots are the only thing that can change your immune system. Allergens landing on your skin or in your nose and lungs cause worse allergy symptoms. By bypassing those surfaces and presenting the allergens under the skin, allergy shots retrain your immune system to respond appropriately to the allergens. All allergy medications, while much better than they used to be, can only mask allergy symptoms temporarily. Don’t worry, we use tiny needles and our nurses are outstanding. Even little kids who need shots aren’t afraid after the first one.