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Martha Jefferson Healthwise: Fall Allergies

Sept. 25, 2013

The fall allergy season is here, but that doesn't mean you have to spend the next few months sneezing, wiping your nose or being congested. In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell has more on some common allergies present this time of year and a few treatments.

If you're out for a stroll or mowing your lawn, you might notice your allergies starting to kick in.

"Symptoms tend to be things like runny nose, congestion, sneezing and itchy watery eyes," said Dr. Madeline Dillon, Allergist, Allergy Partners of Charlottesville.

Dr. Dillon says central Virginia is a hub for allergies.

"We have long growing seasons. We have a lot of different types of trees, grasses and weeds. We also have fairly high humidity. Things like dust mites thrive in that type of environment," said Dr. Dillon.

She says there are a few things you can do to get some relief.

First, try your best to avoid certain allergens.

"Like taking a shower...especially rinsing your hair after you've been outdoors, having your windows up when you are at home and also in the car and avoiding periods when there is high pollen...typically in the early morning," said Dr. Dillon.

You can also try a few over the counter medicines.

"There are a lot of really good over the counter options now including oral antihistamines and eye drops and saline nasal sprays," said Dr. Dillon.

If those things don't work it may be time to see your doctor.

A physician can run a few tests to help identify which things you're allergic to. Then, they can also help individualize a plan which could include allergy shots.

"Folks that allergy shots would be appropriate for are people who are not getting good symptom control with medications and avoidances or folks who don't want to continue taking medications long term," said Dr. Dillon.

With a few medications, allergy shots or simply avoiding certain allergens, you could still enjoy the outdoors this fall.

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