[caption id="attachment_920" align="alignleft" width="90" caption="Dr. Bassett"][/caption] Seasonal allergies may cause a variety of symptoms for sufferers such as nasal stuffiness, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes in addition to an increase in mucus causing the familiar "clearing" of the throat in some.There are also a variety of associated things that I hear from my allergy patients in the office, such as "fatigue" and lack of energy.In many cases congested nasal and sinus passages may cause poor quality, interrupted sleep as a result of sleep disordered breathing.So what to do?

Having an examination of your nose and sinuses which reveal the extent of the level of severity is the first step.In some cases clogged breathing passages may be a result of a deviated septum or chronic infection.The work up by a specialist for these conditions may include a sinus X-ray (CT scan) to completely visualize the sinuses and identify the problem.In many cases, saline (salt water) irrigation of the sinuses and nasal steroid sprays can provide a great deal of relief, safely.

Another tip you have allergy is the timing of your symptoms along with the season and weather. For example, pollen levels are typically higher on dry, sunny and windy days and lower on windless, cloudy and wet days.

Survival tips

  • WASH WISESLY: Shampoo your hair at end of day to remove excess allergy containing pollens that accumulate during the day
  • BEAT THE CLOCK: Check local pollen counts at www.aaaai.org/nabto plan outdoor activities and/or "move inside" on high pollen days
  • DO NOT RE-CIRCULATE: Keep the A/C on the "do not re-circulate mode" and change filters in the air conditioner frequently during the allergy season
  • Changing your clothing outside of the bedroom, washing your glasses and brushing off your shoes, to help to reduce the pollen load in your bedroom
  • Vacation by a body of water, such as a lake, river or at the beach, where pollen levels are typically lower

These survival tips actually work!

Dr. Clifford W. Bassettis an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.