Sniffing out the cause and treatments for a rough allergy season

Kate Nemarich Image
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Sniffing out the cause and treatments for a rough allergy season
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Itchy watery eyes, sneezing, sniffling. If that sounds familiar, you're not alone.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Itchy watery eyes, sneezing, sniffling. If that sounds familiar, you're not alone.

Allergy specialists said this allergy season is hitting people harder than normal and the evidence is all around us.

Dr. Praveen Buddiga, Allergy & Immunology Specialist, said he's seeing a lot of new faces in his office.

"Because of the prolonged rainy season, we've had, which is exceptionally unusual for us," said Buddiga. "And so it's kind of pushed the allergy season to really aggressive this year, and I expect it to move on for another couple of months."

When people come in, first they figure out what it is the patient is allergic to with a skin test. Then treatment options are discussed. If you go the over-the-counter route, Buddiga suggested using nasal sprays first thing in the morning to get the most benefit. The tablets that offer 24-hour protection can be taken at any time. Allergy injections can be a good option for people who get allergies throughout the year.

"As you get a shot every week or every two weeks, you develop a certain protection inward in your body that sort of the next time that you know pollen presents itself to the antibody, it gets destroyed internally without causing allergy symptoms," said Buddiga.

Buddiga said he's making stronger recommendations because of how aggressive allergens are this year.

"I am advising even patients on my allergy shots to take over-the-counter medicines, which I haven't done in my career," said Buddiga. "This is the first time I've done it."

This is the first time I've done it."

Medical Assistant Jessica Porraz helps people treat their allergies but said she is suffering this spring too.

"They are worse this season. I am noticing a lot of congestion headaches," said Porraz. "And then I noticed that when I'm out at my daughter's softball game, it's a lot of itching afterward."

She said when people get allergy shots, it can help reduce the number of over-the-counter treatments they need to use.

They also offer oral drops for people who may not want to get shots.

"They can do it at home," said Porraz. "We make sure they have an Epi-pen if they need it and then they just do those jobs daily."

Beyond medical treatments, air purifiers, and nasal rinses, and even washing your hair before bed can help reduce symptoms.

"The pollen tends to stick into the hair and when the hair falls on your face," said Buddiga. "It does cause a lot of nighttime symptoms, itchy eyes, again it's the same story all over again in the morning."

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