Top Five Ways to Fight Allergies

By: By Dr. William Dolen, Allergist-Immunologist, MCG Health System
By: By Dr. William Dolen, Allergist-Immunologist, MCG Health System

Every year, millions of Americans continue to live with seasonal allergy symptoms, despite the fact that relief is available for the drippy nose, sneezing, congestion and itchy, watery eyes caused by allergies to pollens and other sources. The following are the top five steps allergy sufferers should take in order to help relieve the onset of symptoms:

  1. Anticipate. Seasonal allergies happen at predictable times. So know when you expect symptoms to begin, make sure you have current refills and start taking your medications early. Seasonal allergies are easier to treat when caught early, before they get severe.

  2. Seek relief. Many people try to tough out the allergy season, leaving them miserable, decreasing their work productivity and affecting their general quality of life. Don't just put up with the symptoms. From medications to immunotherapy, relief is available.

  3. Limit side effects. Some medications may cause side effects such as sleepiness. If these side effects are intruding in your daily life, now rhat you don't have to put up with them. If you're having trouble, tell your doctor, who can find other treatments that have fewer side effects.

  4. Don't just self-treat. If you're self-treating with over-the-counter medications but not getting enough relief, see your doctor. With the proper medication, seasonal allergies can be kept under control.

  5. Seek professional advice. Ask your doctor whether you should consult with a board-certified, trained allergist-immunologist. A specialist an help you find out exactly what you are allergic to (which will help predict when you might have trouble), and can work with your regular doctor to find a personalized medication strategy. Allergy shots are still the best hope for long-term relief of seasonal allergies.

Allergy season usually lasts through October. And while there is no cure for seasonal allergies, by working with a medical professional to find the right medications and by staying on a medication regimen, it is possible to help prevent the misery of the allergy season.

MCG Health System is composed of three separate organizations -- MCG Health, Inc. and the clinical services offered by the faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia and the members of the MCG physicians Practice Group Foundation. The physicians of MCG Health System are community physicians, faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia, or employees of the MCG Physicians Practice Group Foundation, not employees of MCG Health, Inc. MCG Health, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation operating the MCG Medical Center, MCG Children's Medical Center, the MCG Sports Medicine Center, MCG Ambulatory Care Center, he Georgia Radiation Therapy Center and related clinical facilities and services. MCG Health, Inc. was formed to support the research and education mission of the Medical College of Georgia and to build the economic growth of the CSRA, the state of Georgia and the Southeast by providing an environment for faculty employees of the Medical College of Georgia and the MCG Physicians Practice Group Foundation and community physicians to deliver the highest level of primary and specialty health care. For more information, please visit

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