« Back To All Posts

Nip Allergies in The Bud

Woman standing in meadow

Certain times of the year can be agonizing for allergy sufferers, who are sensitive to pollens, grasses, molds, smog, pollutants and dozens of other irritants. Allergies are common, and nothing to sneeze at! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50 million Americans suffer from sinusitis and rhinitis, and allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic disease.

While seasonal allergies are very common, there are strategies that can help reduce discomfort or prevent symptoms before they start. For allergy sufferers, it is important to know what causes your allergies, how to manage your surroundings, which medications to take, and when to visit your Riverside Medical Clinic allergist.

What Are Allergies?

In general, allergies happen when usually safe substances make contact with your nose, eyes, lungs, stomach and skin, and cause an overreaction of the immune system that results in sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching and all-around feeling uncomfortable.

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is characterized by airway obstruction and may be accompanied by coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing. Chest tightness and slight chest pain can also occur. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, which can cause frontal headaches and stuffiness, facial pain that worsens with bending or straining, and yellow or green discharge. If you’ve ever worked through an entire box of tissues in a day, it’s possible you were battling sinusitis.

What Causes Allergies?

Substances that cause allergic irritation are called allergens. They vary by individual, but may include airborne pollens of certain trees, grasses and weeds; house dust; cat or dog dander; food or drug allergies, or poisonous substances, such as poison oak.


Luckily, there are effective medications to control symptoms available with and without a prescription.

  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and stings

Tips to Ease Your Allergy Triggers

  • If possible, stay indoors in the morning hours, when pollen levels tend to peak.
  • Keep windows closed at home and in the car.
  • Run air conditioning indoors and use a high-efficiency HEPA filter to clean the air.
  • Change your clothes after you’ve been outside.
  • Leave your shoes outside or near the front door, limiting the amount of pollen you bring into your home.
  • Shower and wash your hair at night rather than in the morning to get rid of any pollen before you go to bed.
  • Wear sunglasses, preferably polarized, to shield your eyes from pollen.

Other Ways to Find Relief

  • Saline nasal irrigation has been shown to have beneficial effects for both children and adults with hay fever.
  • Acupuncture has demonstrated positive results for seasonal rhinitis.
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that probiotics (good bacteria which can be found in yogurt) improved the symptoms of seasonal allergies in 17 out of 23 studies.

Don’t use home remedies to treat severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. If you’re experiencing more serious symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Google Is Not a Doctor

While it’s tempting – and easy – to do a quick search for a “cure” on the Web, please remember that you can’t always trust what you see to be true. If you have any questions about your allergies, feel free to call Riverside Medical Clinic. The staff is happy to help.

Riverside Medical Clinic physician Brett Cherry, MD, FACAAI is a renowned specialist in the area of allergies and asthma. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cherry, please call (951) 782-3681.

Riverside Medical Clinic is the largest provider of ambulatory care in the Inland Empire. With multiple locations, you’re sure to find a clinic close to you. Visit riversidemedicalclinic.com for more information.