ONALASKA, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – According to data released this year by the CDC, nearly one in three U.S. adults and more than one in four children reported having a seasonal allergy in 2021. Jared Darveaux, the adult allergy specialist at Gundersen Health Onalaska, explains what symptoms to be on the lookout for and how to prevent allergens from reaching you, “When people are having problems with their allergies, a lot of time they’ll notice they have increased sneezing, they’ll have more nasal congestion and a lot of nasal drainage, maybe itchy eyes. And in particular, they’ll notice if they spend a fair amount of time outside. Make sure you keep your doors and windows closed. You don’t want to let in all of those allergens and pollens from outside into your house where you can get away from those. If you’re spending a lot of time outside, it would be useful for you to take a shower get that stuff out of your hair so that you’re not transferring those pollens into your bed and then suffering through that through the night as well.”
Darveaux says one of the main causes of alergens during the fall season is weeds. More specifically, Rag Weed. “So, fall season is predominantly the weed pollen. So, in the springtime we have tree pollens that come out and that’s what bothers people in the spring, kind of late spring, early summer is when we see grass pollens and that’s when that comes out. And then in the fall is when ragweed and the other weed pollens command. So that’s typically what bothers people.”
While allergies can be frustrating to deal with, relief is out there. Darveaux explains, “If people are having problems with their allergy symptoms, there’s several different medications that are available now. There’s a lot of good antihistamines that are over-the-counter. So Cetirizine or Zyrtec or Allegra is Fexofenadine, Claritin is Loratadine. All of those are really good medications. If you’re really feeling stuffy and congested, probably the nasal sprays are better. If your eyes are bothering you, then there are several over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops, like Olopatadine is a good one.”
If you are looking for professional help, Gundersen Health provides many doctors who specialize in allergies and immunology. Gundersen Health also has its own pharmacy where you can find allergy medications.