Attacking fall allergies

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screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-2-29-17-pmBy Staff Report

Celebrations of fall weather are in full force with families visiting local pumpkin patches and others sitting around bonfires roasting marshmallows, while pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage. But the joys that come with this season also mean battling fall allergies head on. Bayhealth otolaryngologist Stephen Cooper, MD, with Bayhealth ENT offers advice.

Detecting fall allergies is simple enough. The most common symptoms are watery eyes, runny nose and mild sore throat, according to Dr. Cooper. “Allergy and cold symptoms are very similar, but if a fever is one of your symptoms, you likely have a cold,” he said. “If you don’t have a fever, and its fall, you’re probably allergic to ragweed – the most common cause of fall allergies.” The peak of ragweed pollen in the air in Delaware is between late August and early November causing disruptive symptoms to those sensitive to ragweed.

While there’s no cure for allergies, Dr. Cooper recommends using an over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant to help ease irritating symptoms.

Dr. Cooper categorizes people with allergies in four groups – those who take medication, those who take shots, those who take medication and shots, and those whose symptoms don’t improve with any treatment. “People with chronic allergies not well controlled by medication should consider allergy immunotherapy,” he said. “Hopefully the medication works because when it works, it works very quickly.”

Allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, helps acclimate a person’s body to the allergens. The shots help the body learn how to react to the allergen so when the environmental allergies are presented to them it isn’t so bad. Dr. Cooper recommends scheduling an appointment to form a treatment plan.

To make an appointment at Bayhealth ENT, call 302-674-3752 (Dover) or 302-393-5009 (Milford). The offices are located at 826 S. Governor’s Ave., Dover and 800 N. DuPont Blvd., Milford.

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