Overcoming allergies during peak season - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Overcoming allergies during peak season

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An estimated forty million Americans suffer from allergies, making it one of the most common chronic diseases.  A new poll suggests where you live determines how you spend your spring: sneezing or smiling.

"A lot of people have come in with eye and nasal itching, and drainage.  It's been a good season for allergies," Dr. David Hagaman said.

Dr. David Hagaman is an Allergist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, one of the hot spots for spring sneezing according to a new poll from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

The poll found many southern cities are the most challenging places to live with spring allergies, with Knoxville, Tennessee being the worst.  But miserable patients could be found all over the country.

Dr. Hagaman has done research for pharmaceutical companies and says you can significantly reduce your symptoms if you start taking medication before the pollen count spikes.

"These medicines are great at preventing swelling, not so good at taking it away once it hits," Dr. Hagaman said.

There are also herbal supplements, like quercetin and stinging nettlem that have been shown to provide relief.  And a saline nasal rinse can wash out the pollen you've been breathing in all day.

It may take some trial and error to find out what works for you, but it's worth it.  Spring allergies can last until June.

Experts also recommend staying indoors between 5:00 and 10:00 a.m., which are the peak pollen hours, and keeping the windows closed.

They poll was based on pollen scores, the number of allergy medications used per patient, and the number of allergists in each city.

Click here to view the full allergy poll overview.

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