Spring has sprung – finally – in the DC metro area.
Every other day for at least the last six weeks, my 6 year old has asked me the same question.
Early in the morning (maddeningly early), at about the same time, he wakes up races up and asks the question:
“Good morning, Daddy. Is It Spring yet?”
He does this with a such a look of earnestness it’s hard to keep from bursting out laughing. You’d think we hadn’t ever had this conversation before.
With increasing exasperation, I’ve had to keep repeating the same old answer. “No, son. It’s not yet spring. We’ll be sure to let you know when the first day of spring rolls around.”
Imagine that same conversation. Now imagine that conversation like a hundred times more.
After months of cold, mom-enforced jackets and hats, and constant indoor recess, my young man has begun to associate spring with freedom. But his real reason for wanting spring so badly?
… Short-sleeved shirts!
In other words, “T-shirts”. That’s it. That’s what he told me when I asked.
He said, “I’ll be able to wear short-sleeved shirts all the time in spring.”
I laughed out loud.
SPRING TIME IN MARYLAND, WASHINGTON D.C.
For many people, spring season in the Maryland suburbs and in Washington DC is about leisurely walks, carefree bike rides, and visits to tourist attractions like the National Harbor, the Cherry Blossom Festival, and the National Mall downtown.
For years, spring time in the D.C. area was a nightmare for me. As much as I loved the return of the long days, warm weather, and green trees, spring always meant one other thing:
The return of spring allergy symptoms
For me, it always started the same way. I’d wake up with my eyelids crusty, my eyes feeling teary, swollen, very red, … and – the absolute worst – very itchy. Within a few minutes of getting my day started (usually just after leaving the house), my eyes would itch maddeningly.
Some people refer to this as eye allergies, but it’s probably more accurately understood as part of the symptoms of allergies (whether tree or grass) or mold allergies, associated with the season. Some people also experience itchy skin during the spring allergy season as a result of their allergies. Fortunately, I’ve never personally experienced those particular symptoms.
Apart from the maddening itchy eyes, I’ve also experienced some other truly bothersome symptoms of spring allergies.
Without any allergy medication, I experience classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis – extended bouts of sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, an itchy throat, post nasal drip and even what seems like congestion in my chest.
Some days were worse than others, but as a general rule, it always seemed to me that the more beautiful the spring day, the worse my allergy symptoms appeared to be. Sometimes I felt like the world itself was in a spring time conspiracy to keep me indoors and miserable.
Fast Relief For Spring Allergies
Fortunately for me, I no longer have to suffer through the most beautiful time of the year. My allergist set me up on allergy medications that walk the tightrope of helping me truly control my eye allergy symptoms, nasal allergy symptoms and chest symptoms, without feeling drowsy, slow, or shaky. I’m still considering the option of allergen immunotherapy though, just so I’m no longer just suppressing symptoms daily.
What are you doing for your spring allergy symptoms?
Whatever you do, be proactive.
And if you need expert help, the allergy and asthma specialists at Alpha Allergy & Asthma Associates, Silver Spring, MD can help you find the approach that works best for controlling your allergy symptoms. A “one size fits all” approach to spring allergies can leave you feeling too drowsy to be productive.
On the other hand, in my personal experience, some over the counter allergy drugs aren’t effective enough – or their effects wear off too quickly – and your allergy symptoms keep you miserable.
Don’t let spring allergy symptoms keep you locked indoors this spring. You may still be able to get a same day appointment (or close to it) if you contact us today.
Till next time.
This article is part of our “STEP OUT THIS SPRING” series.
“Why let the tourists have all the fun this spring?”
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Do you need to see an allergist immediately? We may have same day appointments available at our Silver Spring clinic. Call (301) 879 – 7700 now to schedule an appointment.