Pollen and Allergy Relief
Here's some allergy relief.
Need Allergy Relief When Pollen Counts Are High? continued...
To make his point, Berger uses an analogy: "What if someone takes your
seat? Then you can no longer take that seat. It's now unavailable."
The same concept works with allergy medicine, says Berger. "If you take
the allergy medicine, it blocks the site so histamine cannot be released. If
you take allergy medicines regularly, you continue to block the site and
control allergy symptoms."
Berger tells WebMD that taking antihistamines will not quickly stop today's
stuffy nose or sneezing from allergies. Nor will these allergy medicines
reverse existing allergy symptoms. Antihistamines prevent future allergy
symptoms, says Berger.
Berger also recommends trying nasal corticosteroids, the first-line allergy
relief medicines, two weeks before pollen season begins to keep symptoms at
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, the best
allergy medications work by inhibiting the immune system's release of chemicals
(IgE) that can trigger allergic reactions. As Berger suggests, if allergy
medicines are taken before you are exposed to pollen, they can help to
stabilize your immune system before you experience the miserable allergy
Recommended treatment for pollen allergies includes: over-the-counter and
prescription antihistamines such as Allegra, Benadryl, or Clarinex;
decongestants like Sudafed; nasal steroids like Beconase, Flonase, or Veramyst;
and drugs that combine antihistamines and decongestants like Allegra-D,
Claritin-D, or Zyrtec-D. Allergy shots or immunotherapy are also a viable
option for allergy relief for pollen allergies.
Need Quick Allergy Relief After Pollen Exposure?
So where do you turn when pollen hits you head-on and catches you without
any protective allergy medicine? Are there remedies to ward off nasal
congestion and still get allergy relief? Absolutely, according to Murray
Grossan, MD, a Los-Angeles-based ENT and author of The Sinus Cure.
Grossan tells WebMD that using a saline nasal rinse or nasal irrigation several
times a day during the height of pollen season gives allergy relief for two
"The saline solution removes miniscule particles of pollen from the
nasal passages and also removes IgE, the chemical in the body that reacts with
pollen to give you the allergy symptoms," he explains. Lowered IgE levels
mean fewer allergy symptoms.
Grossan knows all about nasal saline rinses and the respiratory system and
with good reason: his Hydro-Pulse Nasal/Sinus Irrigator was featured in
Time magazine (2000) as one of America's best inventions.
On a lighter note, Grossan mentions that the singer Enrico Caruso used to
suck pickled fish before giving performances. "The hypertonic solution
diluted his mucus, making it easier to sing," the doctor tells WebMD.
"In numerous published journal studies, findings show that patients with
allergic rhinitis or chronic sinusitis who used saline nasal irrigation
regularly left their doctors' offices with the bacterial load reduced,
requiring fewer antibiotics and expressing much greater patient
satisfaction," Grossan says.
To make a saline solution for nasal rinsing during pollen season, Grossan
says use 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 4 ounces of bottled water.