Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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May 6, 2014

Allergy season kicks up, solutions available

Corsicana — A dry spring is contributing to a rough allergy season this year.

In states to the North, the problem was a hard winter, which delayed spring, causing tree and grass pollens to pop out at the same time, but here in North Central Texas, it’s more a matter of not enough rain.

“Because it’s dry, it started early and everybody’s suffering,” explained Dr. Trena Weidmann, pharmacist and owner of P&S Pharmacy. “You’ve already got pollen from the trees and the grass is putting out a little bit, but there’s a lot of dead grass being mowed.”

Clinicians at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the Allergy and Asthma Care Center of Waco submit pollen readings to www.weather.com, which then creates what’s called a pollencast. The pollen forecast predicts very high pollen counts for the rest of the week, mostly from ash and maple trees.

In addition to all the over-the-counter antihistamines, there is a new solution available to allergy sufferers, Weidmann said.

“The new solution isn’t really new, but it’s a nasal spray that coats the inside of the nasal cavities so you don’t have the interaction from inhaling allergens,” she said. “The pollen is in the air and you inhale it, so it protects you from that.”

The nasal sprays go by names like Nasacort, it’s a nasal steroid spray.

“It’s been prescription for years, but now it’s over the counter,” Weidmann said. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than it ever was on prescription.”

Last October, the Food and Drug Administration approved triamcinolone acetonide, known commercially as Nasacort Allergy 24HR, as an over-the-counter medication. One of the appeals is that it doesn’t make people sleepy and it relieves a wide range of symptoms, including stuffy noses, by preventing the chemical responses that trigger the problems in the first place.

However, the sprays can take days to weeks to see full relief, according to fact sheets on the drug.

    —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com.

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