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Allergy Armageddon

Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorSniff, sneeze, wheeze, hike.

It's like a springtime football cadence.

Except if you're the one with seasonal allergic misery, you're probably praying for football season in the fall to hurry up before you itch your eyes out of their sockets.

So you may have heard more people have allergies than ever before. Allergy seasons are longer than ever before. And pollen counts, on some days, seem higher than ever before.

If you're a sufferer, what can you do short of moving to the South Pole (which is one of Earth's most hypo-allergenic places)?

A few easy tips:

Nasal saline. Buy some, then squirt it up your nose several times a day. It'll help wash the pollens out.

Artificial tears. See above. They wash pollen from the eyes.

Avoid the nasal sprays with decongestants- they are only safe to use for 3-4 days. Same for the "get the red out" type eyedrops.

Try the non drowsy products such as Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra, if you can. (And as directed).

But if they aren't strong enough, go for the more powerful antihistamines such as Benadryl, Dimetapp, or Actifed. But stronger may also mean more side effects such as drowsiness. (And once again, use only if your health permits, and be sure to follow directions.)

Then, if your antihistamine works, then a month or so later you start dripping again- change products for a few weeks. Then go back to the original- it often starts working again.

Shower and rinse your head before bed. It's no fun to get pollen in your hair, then roll around all night on a pillow you've contaminated.

Finally, if you're sensitive to everything, see your doctor. We do have some cool new products that are prescription only, such as nasal spray antihistamines and special eyedrops.

Your eyes, nose, and throat will thank you.

Good luck from a fellow allergy sufferer.

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