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Allergies are in the air

Lawton_Allergies are in the air, and people who are sensitive to the pollen are seeking ways to find relief.  But before diving in to the over-the-counter remedies, there are some things they might want to consider.

The allergy counts in the area are spiking.  Dr. Dale Smith, D. O., is an otolaryngologist.  "We really do live in the armpit of the world when it comes to allergies.  And part of the reason for that is that we have an overlap of our seasons, where our trees and our grasses and our weeds sort of give us the triple whammy."   You also can come home at the end of the day, thinking your house is clean and clear, but most likely you are dealing with indoor allergens as well, such as dust mites and mold.

That is why it might be hard to pick the right over-the-counter medication.  Smith notes if you don't use those medications correctly, you can actually make the situation worse.  "There are so many combinations that people can really kind of get themselves in trouble.  You know, I saw a guy today who's using Afrin nasal spray 12 times a day so he's addicted to it.  Yea, it says on the bottle, don't use it more than 48 hours...but we're Americans, we don't read the directions until we have trouble."

So if you've done everything you think you can do, and you're still not winning the war on allergies, Smith says it's time to see a specialist.  "It doesn't make sense to keep doing the same thing for the same problem and expect the same results."  He says asthma is not necessarily related to allergies, and allergies are not necessarily related to the environment so it's best to get an allergy test.  That way you will know exactly what you're allergic to and a doctor can treat your specific case.

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