What's Going Around: hay fever - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What's Going Around: hay fever

Seasonal allergies are affecting many sufferers who struggle with congestion, runny noses, and watery eyes.  (Source: KPLC) Seasonal allergies are affecting many sufferers who struggle with congestion, runny noses, and watery eyes. (Source: KPLC)
SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) -

Do allergy symptoms have you feeling under the weather?  Recent rain has helped to settle some of the pollen and mold counts, but that has not brought a long stretch of relief yet for people with hay fever, according to Dr. Kelly Fuqua with Calcasieu Family Physicians of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.

"They are experiencing itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, clear runny nose, scratchy, dry throat, sometimes even a dry non-productive cough, sometimes their eyes will look a little puffy," said Dr. Fuqua.

Your immune system defends the body against bacteria and viruses.  Dr. Fuqua explains allergies are caused by an overactive response to a substance that is not actually harmful to the body.

"The reaction is actually an allergic response your body is having to that irritant," said Dr. Fuqua, "basically, that pollen is not agreeing with your body and your body is trying to attack it or get it out of the way."

The best treatments for seasonal allergies are antihistamines, nasal saline flushes, and steroid nasal sprays.  Dr. Fuqua says you can also minimize your exposure to allergens if you know what triggers them.

"If you're aware that you have hay fever or seasonal allergies, one thing that we do recommend is that you shower or bathe in the evening, because we're able to remove all of the pollen residues that are on your hair or on your skin," said Dr. Fuqua.

If allergies linger, more serious infections and conditions can develop.

"If you're having fever, if you're having progressive worsening of your symptoms, if you're having discolored nasal drainage, lots of facial pressure, you may very well have an infection on top of your allergy symptoms and it'd be a good idea to get checked out by your doctor," said Dr. Fuqua.

Hay fever season hits its peak in April and May.

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