by Dr. Raphael Strauss, allergist
Allergy season can be very challenging as you well know. We cannot get rid of the pollen, but we can give you some suggestions to ease your discomfort.

1. Stay indoors in air-conditioning as much as you practically can.
2. Shower and wash hair after coming in from the outdoors.
3. Pollen counts are lowest in the evening and after it rains. Pollen counts are highest on dry hot days.
4. Take medication daily. Medication is generally most effective if taken regularly.

There are many excellent over-the-counter medications for allergies.

Antihistamines
Loratadine (Claritin)
Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
Fexofenadine (Allegra)

They come in liquid, dissolvable or chewable form and are safe for adults and children. The generics are fine and generally less expensive.
(Avoid Benadryl which tends to cause excessive drowsiness and may affect thinking ability.)

Eye Drops
See article below on eye allergies.

Steroid based nasal sprays
Fluticasone, Nasonex, Veramyst, Omnaris, Nasacort, Qnasl are very safe and generally more effective than oral medications, but must be taken daily
Nasacort(triamcinalone) and Flonase(fluticasone) are now available without a prescription
Nasalcrom (Cromolyn) – needs to be taken 2-4 times daily and takes several weeks for maximum efficacy.
Saline – may be used daily or as needed.

Antihistamine nasal sprays
These are still prescription only – Astepro, Patanase can be taken daily or as needed and can be combined with a nasal steroid spray.

Call your pediatrician, primary care doctor or allergist/immunologist if more help is needed.

Dr. Strauss sees patients at Strauss Allergy & Asthma
in Westbury & Commack.