- Runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Puffey eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Asthma flares
- Difficulty breathing
One of the most common allergens is grasses and specifically timothy grass. We are seeing these right now. While preventive treatment is ideal, treatment is currently focused on relieving the symptoms. There is a new option for allergy sufferers of common grasses for future seasons. The middle of freezing temperatures is when the grasses are dormant. It is that time that preventive treatment needs to start.
The newest option to treat for the timothy grass allergen is Grastek. This is immunotherapy in a pill. For those that have endured the weekly shots this is a novel, relatively painless approach to immunotherapy that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Grastek covers Timothy grasses but also has cross coverage to other grasses.
It should be started for seasonal care 12 weeks ahead of pollen and throughout the season or taken consecutively for 3 years.
Click on the following link for more information on administration of Grastek.
Another common allergen that is on the horizon is ragweed. Fortunately, our timing of discussing this form of treatment is ideal. The same manufacturer of Grastek has developed a similar treatment for ragweed with the prescription drug Ragwitek.
Ragwitek like Grastek should be taken 12 weeks before the allergen season. In this geographic area the typical ragweed season begins about August 15. That gives an estimated start date of the medication in mid-May.
Ragwitek is taken similarly to Grastek with pre-seasonal and seasonal administration or continuous administration for 3 years.
TRADITIONAL ALLERGY CARE
- Loratadine–Claritin, Alavert
- Montelukast Sodium–Singulair
- Oxymetazoline–Afrin, Sinex
- Ipratropium Bromide–Atrovent
While avoidance can be difficult here are some pointers that may help:
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is high especially between 5AM to 10 AM when pollen counts are highest
- Wear a mask when mowing or avoid mowing altogether
- Choose grasses for your lawn that produce less pollen–dichondra and irish moss are some examples
- Mow frequently to keep grass short
- Keep windows closed
- Avoid attic fans
- Bathe pets frequently
- Do not dry clothes outdoors
- Minimize alcohol intake as it leads to dehydration and increased sensitivity to allergens
Another topic to come…How do I know what I am allergic to?
Ann Riggs, DO