Stopping the Sneeze This Allergy Season!

Sneezing from allergies

Texas is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to fall allergens. Mountain cedar and ragweed start to peak this time of year, so what can you do to avoid falling prey to your allergies this fall? To answer this question, Health Services of North Texas enlisted the help of its very own Dr. Jason Siegel, who has three methods he recommends to alleviate your symptoms.

Step One: Saline Spray

The first is to simply clean out your nose using a saline spray.

“[Allergy-sufferers] want to clean their nose out every day.” Dr. Siegel says. “What you’re doing is getting out all the pollen that’s been on your pillow overnight that you’ve been breathing in, that sort of thing. The saltwater draws mucus towards it and helps clean out all those irritants.”

Step Two: Nasal Steroid Spray

If the saline spray doesn’t help, the next method is a nasal steroid spray. Nasal steroids work right at the source by decreasing your immune system’s response to your specific allergen.

“The way to use the steroid spray is to lean your head forward, point the spray back, and just sniff it a little bit. You don’t have to snort really hard. If you can taste it, that means it didn’t work – it went down your throat.”

Step Three: Over-The-Counter Medication

If all else fails, the final method Dr. Siegel recommends is an over-the-counter medication, like Allegra. Zyrtec can tend to make people drowsy, and Dr. Siegel says he hasn’t found Claritin to be effective, so a medication like Allegra (fexofenadine), which can be found at any pharmacy, would be your best bet. He also warns patients to stay away from a medication called Afrin.

“[Afrin] works really, really well for the first day. The problem is that if you use it for two days, it has a rebound effect, it actually doubles your congestion. You become severely congested and there isn’t any way to undo it. You just have to stop taking it and let it wear off.”

Other things that you can do to help boost the effectiveness of these methods is to change your pillowcase often and wash your hair at night. If none of these methods work, and you can’t seem to shake the sneezing, visit us online to set up an appointment at one of our medical centers so we can make sure that you get the care you need.