Pollen Allergy season in Vancouver has started earlier this year because of the warm winter and above average springtime temperatures. Here are some important details to help you navigate the season of springtime allergies.

Cont. from last edition

4 If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.

4 Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.

4 Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

Keep indoor air clean

There’s no miracle product that can eliminate all allergens from the air in your home, but these suggestions may help:

4 Use the air conditioning in your house and car.

4 If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.

4 Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.

4 Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.

4 Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

Try over-the-counter remedies. Several types of nonprescription medications can help ease allergy symptoms. They include:

4 Oral antihistamines. Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, a runny nose and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy) and fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy).

4 Decongestants. Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others) can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Decongestants also come in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine). Only use nasal decongestants for a few days in a row. Longer-term use of decongestant nasal sprays can actually worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).

4 Nasal spray. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn’t have serious side effects, though it’s most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms. You may need a steroid nasal spray if the condition worsens.


4 Allergy shots are sometimes necessary if allergy symptoms are worse.

4 SLIT: SubLingual Immunotherapy with Grastek or oral air as per your Allergist advice.

4 See your health care provider before use of any medication.

Dr. Pargat Singh Bhurji
MD,FRCP ( C ) Consultant Pediatrician Surrery BC


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