Morning Rounds: How to fight allergies

Posted at 9:45 AM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 09:45:04-04

NORFOLK, Va. – Spring is just a few days away.  While many people are welcoming warmer weather, some are fearing the beginning of allergy season.  Medical expert Dr. Ryan Light shared tips on how to lessen the severity of allergy season on News 3 This Morning.

“Starting allergy medication early in the season before symptoms become problematic can help prevent the worsening of seasonal allergic reactions,” said Dr. Light.  “Over-the-counter allergy medications, nasal saline, allergy shots, and local honey can help alleviate allergy symptoms.”

“The best medication is limiting exposure to allergens, but this is often impractical,” explained Dr. Light.  “Check the pollen counts and avoid outside activity during high pollen days or wear a mask during outside activities.”

Dr. Light said it is safe to take over-the-counter antihistamines per the package instructions in conjunction with nasal steroids.  However, if you have high blood pressure, he urges you to ask your health care provider before starting over-the-counter allergy medications that contain a decongestant.  Decongestants can cause elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

As for alternatives to over-the-counter medications, Dr. Light said local honey is an option.

“[Local honey] contains small amounts of pollen, and has been proven to help reduce symptoms by desensitizing the allergic reaction,” he said.  “Nasal lavage, with saline rinses, removes the allergens by a flushing action and also helps to lower allergy symptoms.  Neti pots and nasal saline sprays and drops all work by physically removing the allergen from the nasal passage and sinus preventing an allergic reaction from occurring.”