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Baylor College of Medicine News

Treat yourself to allergy-free spring

While most people do not have spring on their mind just yet, allergy sufferers could already be dreading the arrival of this pesky season. According to allergy experts at Baylor College of Medicine, now is the time to get control of spring allergies.

Patients can get tested for allergies at any time, but they are required to stop all allergy medications for about one week before allergy testing. Since many seasonal allergy sufferers are relatively non-symptomatic at this time of year and not currently taking any medications, it’s an ideal time to undergo testing.

Allergy symptoms

Classic allergy symptoms include nasal congestion and intermittent runny nose. There are often other symptoms such as eye itching, sneezing, post-nasal drip and cough. Some people whose allergies trigger asthma may have chest symptoms like wheezing and trouble breathing. Other symptoms include fatigue and “low energy,” as well as dark circles under the eyes due to congestion and sinus pressure.

Allergy skin testing is performed on the back using a small plastic device, and any allergen that causes an itchy red welt indicates that the person has sensitivity to that allergen. Skin testing can provide a result in a few minutes and an action plan can be established that will work with the patient’s goals and lifestyle. Allergen avoidance techniques will be discussed as well as an acceptable medication regimen.

Candidates for shots

For those patients who are determined to be ideal candidates for allergy shots, a plan for administration will be discussed. The goals are to reduce the inflammation that allergies cause and provide symptomatic relief.

Experts say it’s not too early to start receiving treatment for severe spring allergies.

The Allergy and Immunology Clinic at the Baylor Clinic is now seeing patients for treating spring allergies as well as other allergy concerns. For more information or to make an appointment, call 713-798-3390.