Pollen counts in Georgia are on the rise due to the last couple of weeks of warmer temperatures. It is quite possible you’ve already seen the yellow “dust” floating around.
What types of pollen are you seeing? Right now, from late March to mid-April the tree pollen is what you’ll see the most; Oak and Birch will peak during this timeframe. Following the trees, it will be grass. Grass pollen will last for several months, finally dying down in the Fall. It isn’t until Fall that you begin to feel the effects of weed pollens, which include sage, ragweed, and pigweed.
What can you do to alleviate allergies?
Instead of using OTC antihistamines and other medications, there are two types of immunotherapy treatments that “treat” the actual condition (or allergy). If you’re looking for something that may control your allergies better than medications, you have two options:
- Allergy drops, or Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), means “under the tongue.” Usually this form of treatment involves liquid drops or tablets. Allergy drops are only FDA approved to treat ragweed, timothy grass, dust mites, and certain grass species.
- Allergy Shots, or Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), means “under the skin.” This type of treatment involves injections. However, shots are not available for food allergies or chronic hives.
Both treatment options are designed to expose the body to a moderate amount of the allergen, allowing your immune system to battle it. Over a period of time, your symptoms begin to diminish, because your body becomes tolerant of the allergen. Depending upon how the allergen affects each individual, it may take less or even more time to begin seeing diminished symptoms. Effects of shots and drops are not immediate; the most improvement shows during the second and third year of treatment. It is possible that those with severe allergies may need ongoing treatment to keep symptoms under control.