Achoo! It’s that time again … allergy season.

With the recent heavy rains, the pollen levels are expected to be at all-time highs. People with pollen allergies can develop symptoms ranging from an itchy eye or nose, sneezing, to coughing triggered by post-nasal drip.

Many people seek over the counter (OTC) treatment for their seasonal allergies. Did you know that certain OTC allergy medications are generally considered safe while others are not?

Over the counter nasal sprays with active ingredients like oxymetazoline can provide rapid temporary relief. However, it is only meant to be used for three days. With regular use, oxymetazoline can cause a significant worsening in nasal congestion. For this reason, I recommend against using it for seasonal allergies since symptoms are typically persistent for more than three days.

One of the best parts of my job as an Allergist is helping patients find relief with the safest medications possible and simple lifestyle changes. There are allergy pills, sprays and even naturopathic options. Allergy testing is a great adjunct because once we find out which allergens are the culprit, patients can make simple adjustments to minimize their allergen exposure. Environmental allergy tests take about twenty minutes and are available for children and adults.

In addition to helping patients find a regimen to control their symptoms, as an Allergist I can offer ways to change their immune system to become less allergic. The classic method is by using allergy immunotherapy or injections to reduce sensitivities to things like pollen, pets, dust mite and mold.

A newer FDA approved treatment option that is now available is sublingual immunotherapy which is a tablet patients can take to become less allergic to things like dust mite, grass or ragweed.

I am accepting new patients at Hoag Medical Group Allergy & Immunology Foothill Ranch. My office is located at 26672 Portola Pkwy., Suite 110, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610. Please call 949-791-3202 ext. 3 to schedule your appointment today.

Don’t suffer from your seasonal allergies alone. Come into my office and let’s turn this allergic season from a down pour into a rainbow.

Meet the Author

Christine M. Panganiban, MD

Dr. Panganiban is a board-certified allergist & immunologist who treats adult and pediatric patients. She enjoys making connections with her patients and strives to help her patients live their best lives. As someone who struggled with asthma as a child...
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