April Wellness

Here Comes the Sun!

Daffodils and Crocus

Not a moment too soon – we have had a long, gloomy winter in the Northeast. Everyone is getting energized as the weather warms, the crocus and daffodils peek around last year’s leaves, and we get busy with plans we were daydreaming about two chilly months ago. Get your sneakers laced up, get your sunscreen on and update your allergy meds, so nothing gets in the way as you spring into wellness! April is the American Heart Association’s Move More Month (https://bit.ly/2O3ETLK), and April 3rd is National Walking Day. Grab your water and get going!

Springtime Allergies

     It’s that time of the year again!

The days are longer, the sun is shining, the beautiful flowers are blooming and you are sneezing. Spring is beautiful, but unfortunately it is a time of year for seasonal allergies. As plants release pollen, millions of people with hay fever start to sniffle and sneeze.

     What is Pollen?

Trees, grass and weeds release microscopic grains in the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen is usually transported by wind, insects or sometimes even animals. The actual allergen to pollen is called hay fever. Depending on the season, you can be allergic to different types of pollen from different plants. In the spring, plants that release pollen include oak, birch, hickory, pecan and grass. In the late summer and fall, it mostly consists of ragweed.

Symptoms of pollen allergies usually include watery eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, coughing, increased mucous, headaches and sometimes worsened asthma attacks. When looking for which item to take to help you feel better, the options might seem to be endless. Depending on what your symptoms are, we can help you choose the right product. There are antihistamines, decongestants and corticosteroid sprays to help alleviate your watery eyes and runny nose.

     Which products can help?

Antihistamines help treat the following symptoms: congestion, runny nose, sneezing, itching and itchy runny eyes. Available over the counter options include

Decongestants help relieve congestion by shrinking swelling in your nasal tissues and helps with mucous secretion as well. It is best to avoid decongestants if you have high blood pressure or glaucoma. You will find some OTC products on the shelf and others behind the counter and will require your license for purchase. Available products include:

Claritin-D

  • Products that include Pseudoephedrine:
    • Zyrtec-D; Allegra-D; Benadryl Allergy and Sinus; Claritin-D; Sudafed
  • Some products for congestions also include phenylephrine
  • Nasal Spray
    • Afrin (Oxymetazoline)**Don’t use more than three days or rebound congestion can occur

Lastly, corticosteroids can also help reduce inflammation associated with allergies. They help alleviate stuffiness, sneezing, and an itchy and runny nose. OTC products nasal sprays include:

  • Rhinocort Allergy (Budesonide); Flonase Allergy Relief (Fluticasone); Nasacort Allergy 24HR (Triamcinolone)
Zyrtec Allergy

  • Non-drowsy: you can take these at any time of the day
    • Zyrtec (Cetirizine)*some people do report drowsiness and take at night; Allegra (Fexofenadine); Xyzal (Levocetirizine); Claritin/Alavert (Loratadine) 
  • Drowsy- avoid activities that require mental alertness or coordination
    • Dimetapp Allergy- Brompheniramine; Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

As you can see, there are many over the counter products to help you relieve your symptoms and at Price Chopper/Market 32, our pharmacists are always ready and willing to help you select the right one.

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