Dr. Richard M. Bass, professor of otolaryngology at Southern Illinois School of Medicine, provides the details on what to watch out for when it comes to spring allergies. Q: What are the different types of spring allergies?

Dr. Richard M. Bass, professor of otolaryngology at Southern Illinois School of Medicine, provides the details on what to watch out for when it comes to spring allergies.


Q. What are the different types of spring allergies?


A. Tree and grass pollens are often springtime allergies, starting in late March and early April to early May. The pines usually do not cause much inhalant allergies since the pollens are very large and fall to ground and do not remain airborne. Only those plants that have pollen that become airborne produce these types of allergies.


Q. What are the symptoms of having an allergy?


A. Inhalant allergies present themselves as runny nose, nasal congestion, itching eyes, itching throat and occasionally sore throats. Patients with asthma and allergies may experience increase asthma symptoms with the onset of their pollen allergies.


Q. How do you find out if you have an allergy?


A. If a patient has the previously mentioned allergy symptoms, a skin test or allergy blood test called RAST can be used.


Q. What might be the treatments for an allergy?


A. First treatment option is to avoid the allergens. If that is not possible, medications can be used, such as antihistamines, nasal antihistamines, nasal steroids and some other immune modulation medications may help. If not, then allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy may help.


Dr. Richard M. Bass is a professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery, specializing in general otolaryngology, otology and allergy at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.