April 27, 2009
Why to see a doctor for allergies
Children with allergies and asthma may benefit from an allergy evaluation, a U.S. allergist advises.
Dr. Maya Jerath of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine says controlling allergy symptoms can prevent some of the common complications of untreated allergies like sinusitis and ear infections.
Some sufferers seek relief with supplements like vitamin C or zinc, Jerath said.
These supplements may help with colds, but there are no studies showing they work for allergic rhinitis, Jerath says in a statement.
However, nasal saline rinses can be helpful in mitigating symptoms because they minimize exposure by clearing out any allergens that might be present. In addition, there are a few small studies that show regular use of these rinses can change the cells lining your nose making it less prone to inflammation, which creates that stuffy feeling.
The best way to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies is to avoid exposure, but Jerath says it is
unrealistic to tell people not to go outside.
There are many prescription medications that work well for allergies, she says.
Similarly, if your symptoms last for more than a season, you can see a doctor to find out what you might be allergic to, and to see if you're a candidate for immunotherapy -- a treatment that aims to cure allergies.