By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ellen Woitowicz, who lives in South Jersey, is relying on an inhaler with spring pollen suddenly spiking, and she gets regular allergy shots. But she’s still suffering.
“Itchy eyes, runny nose, head hurts in the morning. It can get pretty miserable without medication. I can’t be out for long periods of time. I just start sneezing and sneezing,” said Ellen.
Our unusually warm, sunny weather has trees and shrubs blooming big time. Beauty brings misery to millions.
“Allergy sufferers are going to have much more extremes of their symptom levels,” said Dr. Donald Dvorin, with The Asthma Center.
He measures pollen counts every day. He says this year’s spring allergy season will be a roller coaster because the weather has been so inconsistent, unseasonably hot and cold.
“It means that there are very peak pollen days and then very low pollen days, so the extremes of weather have contributed to the variability in symptoms on a day to day basis,” said Dr. Dvorin.
This allergy season is also different because of three new prescription medications available for the first time.
SEE ALSO: Spring Allergy Information
“It’s very effective in that it’s a combination product, so it gives you almost instant relief,” said Dr. Dvorin, speaking about the new drug Dymista.
The medication contains a steroid to reduce inflammation and a anti-histamine to counteract allergic symptoms, like congestion and itchiness.
Another new drug is Qnasl. “The idea behind this is you can penetrate the nasal airway more effectively,” said Dr. Dvorin.
It’s also a dry nasal spray, which reduces allergy symptoms for a longer period of time than what’s been available.
The third new nasal spray is called Zetonna.
Dr. Dvorin cautions some popular over-the-counter nasal sprays don’t work over time.
“They’re good for several days, but after that it’s a cycle of worsening congestion and nasal blockage, which makes it even worse for the patient,” said Dr. Dvorin.
He says some oral over-the-counter medications can be helpful for people with mild allergies.
For more information visit: www.asthmacenter.com.