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Surviving Spring Allergies

Spring is in the air, and while the warmer weather and longer days are a welcome change for most, allergy sufferers everywhere dread the irritating symptoms that come along with the season. For many, these symptoms can last well into the year, making it difficult to enjoy favorite activities like going out on the lake, working in the garden, or watching a baseball game. However, according to AnMed Health allergy experts, these symptoms can be effectively managed for most people. So if your eyes water and your nose gets a tickle just thinking about springtime, read on to learn what you need to know to survive this year’s allergy season.


Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Make an appointment today!

Call AnMed Health Medicus ENT at 864.716.7750.


What causes seasonal allergies?
Noting the time of year when your symptoms are at their worst can be an important clue in determining what causes them. Dr. Justin Way, a board-certified otolaryngologist with AnMed Health Medicus ENT, explains that tree pollen is most often the culprit of springtime allergies. In summer months, grass becomes the most common cause of symptoms, while ragweed is prominent in the fall. When tiny particles of these allergens are inhaled, it sometimes triggers a histamine response — essentially, a warning to your immune system that a foreign, and potentially harmful, substance has entered the body. Typical symptoms include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and post-nasal drip.

How can I manage my allergies?
According to Dr. Way, there are three main ways to manage allergy symptoms. First, whenever possible, avoid the substance that triggers them. It sounds simple — and for people affected by some allergens (like pet dander) — it is. However, the effectiveness of this method depends on both your willingness and ability to alter your lifestyle and on having a pretty good idea of what’s triggering your allergy. For those who cannot avoid the allergens affecting them, medications and nasal sprays can often bring relief. However, if medications fail, Dr. Way suggests allergy testing to pinpoint the allergens most likely responsible for symptoms. Once identified, small doses of these allergens are actually given to patients in the form of allergy shots or drops taken underneath the tongue. “By exposing patients to small doses of the allergen that’s triggering symptoms, we help condition their immune systems to that allergen, which makes them less reactive over time,” says Way.

What will happen if I just ignore my allergies?
Besides diminishing quality of life, untreated allergies can have other unwanted effects such as chronic fatigue, lost work hours, recurring sinus infections, and chronic bronchitis. For asthma sufferers, it is especially important to manage allergies since they can exacerbate the condition.

How early do allergies develop?
Children often start having problems early in life with recurring ear and sinus infections. When symptoms become severe and unresponsive to medications, Dr. Way recommends allergy testing as early as age six.


Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Make an appointment today!

Call AnMed Health Medicus ENT at 864.716.7750.


Justin Way, M.D. is a native of Holly Hill, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University. Inspired by his father’s career as a family physician, Way studied medicine at MUSC and went on to complete his residency training at the University of Kentucky. He pursued otolaryngology because it offers a balance of both medicine and surgery, and allows him to work with a wide range of patients. As one of three specialists at AnMed Health Medicus ENT, Way offers comprehensive allergy testing, nasal and sinus surgery, and treatment for other complex conditions involving the head and neck such as thyroid disorders and neck masses.