Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Medicine Allergist Gives Tips for Surviving Allergy Season

Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center June 22, 2015

Allergies are peaking but that doesn’t mean you need to stay indoors

GLENVIEW, IL – Spring and summer are the peak seasons for hay fever and other allergies, but that doesn’t mean your options are to suffer outside or stay indoors.

Anne Marie Ditto, MD, an allergist and immunologist at the Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center, shared some tips for recognizing and treating common summer allergies.

  • Nasal allergies typically don’t emerge in adulthood unless there are new exposures, which can happen when moving to a different state or country. While there are always exceptions, Ditto said people tend to develop airborne allergies more often in childhood. If you are experiencing common allergy symptoms as an adult, an allergist can help you figure out what is triggering the new symptoms.
  • Over the counter medications work. Try it; though consider your symptoms first. Do you need a decongestant for nasal stuffiness or an antihistamine for allergy symptoms like itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose? There are also decongestants added to antihistamines. “The newer over-the-counter allergy medications are non-sedating and they are very effective,” Ditto said. “Start with a non-sedating medication. If you take an over-the-counter allergy medication and it takes care of symptoms, you don’t need to do anything else.” 
  • See an allergist, who can prescribe a nasal steroid for treatment or help identify and then treat exactly what is causing the allergic reaction.
“The skin test is the gold standard for allergy testing,” said Ditto, who is also an associate professor in medicine-allergy-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “You’ll get your answer at the appointment and we’ll also give you guidelines and recommendations based on that.”

To make an appointment with a physician, or to learn more information about our Northwestern Medicine Glenview Outpatient Center, call 847.724.GLEN.

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