Living with allergies

‘Tis the season for allergies, and with pollen counts on the rise, allergies are hard to avoid.

“Particularly difficult season for allergy sufferers largely for tree pollen, which is what we are in the midst of right now,” said Dr. Frederic Little, the director of pulmonary, allergy, and sleep clinics at Boston Medical Center.

Little says many Americans suffer some kind of allergies.

“The main symptoms that people have – and they are similar for whether it’s tree, grass, or a weed pollen allergy – the thing that bothers people a lot are the itchy throat, sneezing,  runny nose, kind of miserable itchy eye sensation,” he said.

Just ask Selam Woldeselassie, who has suffered from allergies since she was in her late teens.

“My first time, I was on a bus and the windows were open, and a whole bunch of pollen came in, and I  had a sneezing fit. That’s when I new it was allergies,” she said.

Her allergies are severe and constant.

“I have year round allergies. Every time the season changes, that’s when my allergies start to kick in. It’s such a tedious thing to deal with, every day I wake up and I have my routine. It’s my nasal rinse, I take my Zyrtek and then I go to work, and repeat daily,” she said.

Treatment for allergies could be as easy as over-the-counter anti-histamines, or a nasal steroid. In Woldeselassie’s case, Doctor Little recommended immuno-therapy, or allergy shots.

“We give small injections right underneath the skin, of gradually increasing doses, of whatever we know they are allergic too and its essentially a way of so-called desensitizing them,” said Little.

For Woldeselassie, her allergies are a daily struggle, but she doesn’t let it stop her.

“I just fight through it. I could be dealing with a lot worse things out here,” she said.

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