When you’re walking with your honey

And your nose is kind of runny,

You may think it’s rather funny,

But it’S NOT!

This little poem was taught to me years ago by one of my mentors, Dr Jack Selner. It is cute and the play on words makes you laugh,

but the truth is it is not funny to have allergies. If you have allergies, you know what I mean.

Nasal allergies are caused by a variety of substances that we inhale. These include pollens from trees, grasses and weeds, dander from animals like cats and dogs, house dust mites, and mold spores. In San Antonio outside allergens are present year round. Most of our trees release pollen in the spring but in the heart of winter, mountain cedar trees release pollen. The grasses release pollen most of the year except in winter and weeds release their pollen from late summer into fall. These cause problems because some of us have immune systems that respond to them and produce immunoglobulins against them.

There are only three things you can do for allergy treatment:

1) Avoid what causes your allergies. This works completely and has no side effects, but may be impractical unless you can afford to move to the desert or Antarctica.

2) Try to suppress the symptoms using medications like antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays.

3) Seek relief from immunotherapy which contains specific ingredients that cause your allergies.

Everyone is different. Some people only have allergies to cats, and if they stay away from cats that are all they need to do. Some people only have mild symptoms and using medicines as needed works for them. Others need routine meds and still others need the control supplied by immunotherapy. If you think you are a member of one of these last two groups and would like to know what to do, then see an allergist-immunologist. We will listen to your history, examine you, and check to see what you are allergic to usually by doing skin scratch testing. The testing takes about a half an hour and your history and test results will be studied by us so that we can suggest allergy treatment specifically for you.

Nearly everyone can be helped so that they too can laugh at their allergies.