Local allergist discusses ways to stay ahead of the game and lessen symptoms

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Dr. Asif Khan says to start taking your medicine early this year

(WKBN) – It’s finally spring but if you have allergies, this time of year may make you miserable. We talked to an allergist-immunologist about how to find relief.

Warmer temperatures are great for getting outdoors, but plants start to bloom and release pollen.

“So, allergy season is bad,” said Dr. Asif Khan.

Dr. Khan says it’s hard to know if the season is getting earlier or moving around, but he knows what people are feeling.

“We’ve seen some pretty severe symptoms already. Majority of the symptoms are usually eyes, itchy eyes and the congested nose,” he said.

Those are classic among allergy sufferers, when the buds come out and the pollen starts flying.

There are some simple ways to lessen allergy symptoms:

  • Check the pollen forecast (spend less time outdoors when pollen levels will be high)
  • Take your allergy medicine
  • Keep your windows closed
  • Turn on your air conditioning (remember to check the filter)

Allergy sufferers will take any relief possible.

“I’m letting them know they have to start their medicines early. If they aren’t someone that likes to take medicines, I give them the information that these are very safe,” Dr. Khan said.

Dr. Khan is referring to antihistamines, which tame allergy symptoms. You use them after your body has released histamines to start getting the allergy trigger out, but the overreaction gives you sneezes, sniffles and itchy eyes, which leads you to try to stop them with antihistamines.

“You can rotate them. Claritin works for a certain amount of time — your body gets used to medicines, drugs in general. Then you might want to switch to something else, like Allegra. Once all that is exhausted, that’s when you probably want to see a doctor,” Dr. Khan said.

Dr. Khan is also watching the weather. If we get more rain in the next week or so, he expects the trees to start blooming like crazy and create a lot more pollen.

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