Pine pollen is a major allergen. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Pine pollen is a major allergen. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Tips for surviving allergy season

(Story courtesy John Manasso, Piedmont)

The dreaded yellow film that coats your car, your front porch, your dog and almost anything that remains outside for more than a few minutes is back.

And that can only mean one thing: pollen season, which translates to seasonal allergies for millions of Americans. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.1 million people made appointments in 2019 to see a physician as a result of allergic rhinitis, irritation and inflammation of the mucus membrane inside the nose, as the primary diagnosis.

If you are suffering from sneezing, itchy eyes and nasal congestion and all of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with an increase in the pollen count, you might want to make an appointment with a primary care physician or visit a local urgent care clinic.

Those 4.1 million who made appointments represent just a fraction of people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Per the CDC, 18.9% of children younger than 18 suffer from season allergies and 25.7% t of those 18 and older suffer from seasonal allergies.

Exacerbating conditions for most Georgians is that more than 60% of the state’s land is made up of pine forests and pine pollen is a prime irritant for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

“If you’re suffering from allergies and need relief or are wondering whether or not it is a cold, a visit with your doctor can pinpoint what steps to take next,” said Dr. Patrick Railey, chief, primary care, Piedmont. “Meeting with a physician in a virtual visit will keep you safe and comfortable and can be more convenient for those constantly on the go.”

Potential over-the-counter treatments are available for seasonal allergies. These include antihistamines, which block histamines, the chemicals found in some of the body’s cells that cause many of the symptoms of allergies. Additionally, nasal sprays are available. These are corticosteroids that help to reduce inflammation.

Confusing seasonal allergies with COVID and flu remains a possibility at this time of the year.

“Determining whether a patient is just suffering from allergies or is coming down with a cold can easily be done through telemedicine,” said Railey. “Once diagnosed, we can discuss medications and other steps to relieve the patient’s symptoms and get them feeling better.”

Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association, is a local, digital newspaper. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Support Local Journalism

Local stories on local people, organizations and events. That's the focus of Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association. And you don't have to go through a paywall to find these stories. An independent voice in Augusta, Ga., Augusta Good News is not funded by a billionaire or a large corporation; it doesn't have celebrity reporters who have agents. It's local people who are invested in the community and want to tell its stories. You can support local journalism and help us expand our coverage by becoming a supporter. Through Ko-Fi, you can give once or set up a monthly gift.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *