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It's allergy season. Here's a couple tips for obtaining some relief

A new treatment for allergies is gaining popularity. Sublingual immunotherapy works to tame the immune response, much like allergy shots.
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A new treatment for allergies is gaining popularity. Sublingual immunotherapy works to tame the immune response, much like allergy shots.

Have itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, and even itchy ears? It's a fair bet you're suffering from allergy season.

"Going into May is usually a tough time for a lot of people who have pollen allergies," said Dr. Neha Dunn, an allergist with OSF HealthCare. "Tree pollen starts being released usually in early March. But this time of year, you're starting to get some early grasses and some early weeds."

Dunn said this is about the time of year when pollen allergy sufferers will be exposed to multiple types of pollens. It can be even worse for those who have asthma, eczema, or other conditions.

Allergy sufferers may automatically reach for an allergy pill or antihistamine for relief, but Dunn said a nasal spray is a better first resort.

"A nasal spray can be much more effective, and actually works at the site of inflammation in your nose, or sinuses," she said.

Dunn also recommends closing the windows, particularly in the mornings.

"Pollen's usually released pretty early in the morning, around 5 a.m. And so for people who like sleeping with the windows open, they can really be affected from an allergy standpoint," she said.

If neither a nasal spray nor a pill is doing the trick, Dunn said it may be time to reach out to a specialist.

"An allergist can be helpful to both identify what you're allergic to. And maybe there's things in your environment you could do differently," she said.

In extreme cases, allergy shots may be used as a form of desensitization therapy.

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