How to get a hold on allergies

How to get a hold on allergies
Dr. Mark Schecker with Coastal Carolina Allergy says your body is trying to fight off two allergens this time of year: ragweed and mold.
Dr. Mark Schecker with Coastal Carolina Allergy says your body is trying to fight off two allergens this time of year: ragweed and mold.

MYRTLE BEACH, (WMBF) - If you're waking up this morning feeling awful, your allergies could be to blame. Local allergists say there are a few reasons why people are suffering so bad right now from their allergies.

Dr. Mark Schecker with Coastal Carolina Allergy says your body is trying to fight off two allergens this time of year: ragweed and mold. Since it has been a very rainy season this year, doctors say it has increased the mold levels.

The rain kept the pollen counts down at first, but now that it's drying out, ragweed and other pollens are hitting full force.

Doctor Schecker says as it gets colder, you're most likely spending more time inside, which exposes you to more indoor allergens, like dust mites and indoor mold.

"I think that a lot of people who have allergies, though, are very sensitive to changes in temperature,” Dr. Schecker says. “And when we get rapid changes in temperature, that actually serves as a trigger, so it may not be a particular allergen, it may just be part of their sensitivity."

"I think the sad thing for most allergy sufferers is that they just tend to live with it when they don't really have to,” Dr. Schecker says.

This time of year, you also have to take into account the flu, common cold, or any other virus. Dr. Schecker says it can be very difficult, especially within the first few days, to distinguish if you're suffering from allergies because the symptoms can be so similar.

Dr. Ronald Reynolds, with Beach Urgent Care, says the first trigger should be if you have a fever or aches and pains, you're probably not suffering from allergies, and you should make your way to the doctor.

"Once you get about a week into it…or the symptoms seem to be progressing, then that's something you're going, 'Yes, I probably need to get this checked out.' You probably need to go down and see the doctor,” Dr. Reynolds says.

Dr. Schecker says if you've been noticing drainage or thick mucus in your throat or sinuses, it could be a virus or an extreme reaction to allergies. He suggests riding it out for a couple days until you get more of an indication. If you're sneezing, have itchy watery eyes and a cough, allergists say those are good cues you're probably suffering from allergies.

Dr. Schecker, suggests trying to avoid any situations which could trigger your allergies, and also use medication to help find relief. He says if your allergies get worse, then it's time to visit a specialist.

Fall allergy season usually starts in August, and it can last all the way through October which is something local allergists say they're seeing now.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News{dot} All rights reserved.