How to Improve Pollen Allergies

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Pollen allergies tend to worsen during the warm summer months of the year. Improve pollen allergies with help from a renowned medical expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Allergy Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi hi, I'm Dr. Robert Eitches. I'm a board certified allergist and I'm in practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and I'm here today to discuss how to improve pollen allergies. Well the first thing we need to well what is pollen, what are pollen allergies, what are we talking about? Well pollen is the allergic part of a tree, a weed, or a grass and usually it's very lightweight and can travel with the wind. It can travel 10, 20, 30 miles. It gets wind blown and breathed into your nose and in your nose you have allergy cells that reek havoc and can cause swelling, itching, mucous, yada, yada, yada, the whole nine yards. You have a lot of symptoms from it. Beware that flowers in general like beautiful lilies or carnations or whatever, those aren't allergic. That pollen, flower pollen is too heavy to cause a problem. So it's a lighter pollen that's the issue. Well what can we do to improve it? One thing is well, decrease exposure. What that means is that spend time indoors, close your windows. Pollen tends to be higher between five and ten in the morning so maybe if your window is closed during those hours there would be less of an issue. And if you're in a high rise or a sealed off place, that makes it less of an issue also and if you are closer to the water, less of an issue. If you are way high up in the mountains, there is less pollen up there too. In the desert, depends on the time of year. Sometimes there's less pollen there too although we've learned to irrigate our deserts and sometimes that dry hot air can cause more of an issue. Well, what can we do aside from decreasing exposure? Well we could use medications and the medications you have are over-the-counter medicines and prescriptive medicines. The over-the-counters tend to be antihistamines that you take by mouth that are often helpful but often isn't always and even when they're helpful they're not curative so we look towards prescriptive medications which could also include antihistamines but there's also a group of medicines called leukotriene blockers and there's also nasal sprays that are antihistamine sprays or cortisone sprays. These are all good forms of treatment to try to improve your symptoms. What if those fail or you want to like try to solve the problem more directly calm those allergy mass cells down and that's where immunotherapy plays a role. Immunotherapy are allergy shots where you're given a little bit of what you're allergic to initially and usually once a week you're given more, then after about seven months you are given a lot of what you're allergic to and you'll find that you don't have symptoms or you have minimal symptoms with minimal medicine. Those are the major ways to treat pollen allergies. I'm Dr. Robert Eitches. I'm a board certified allergist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and I just discussed with you today how to improve pollen allergies. Thank you.

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