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About us

Novant Health First Charlotte Physicians EpiCentre is the premiere internal medicine practice in the heart of uptown Charlotte. For more than two decades, our physicians have cared for adults and adolescents in Center City—everything from routine physicals to allergies to care for acute medical problems.

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Ways To Combat Seasonal Allergies

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Your eyes are scratchy, your nose is stuffy, your throat is irritated and your car is yellow.  Say hello to allergy season in Charlotte! While it is easy to get a carwash, it's not so easy to wash away the affects of seasonal allergens on your health. At Novant Health First Charlotte Physicians EpiCentre, we offer allergy injections year-round to our patients. But, if seasonal allergies strike you, there are other remedies you might want to try.

What Are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever, often happens when a person is exposed to pollens released from grasses, trees, weeds or shrubs. When that pollen comes into contact with the linings of the nose, eyelids, eyes, sinuses or throat, a substance called histamine is released from those tissues. Histamine could cause a watery discharge from the eyes or nose, or could lead to sneezing; congestion; itchy eyes, nose or throat; or post-nasal drip. Scratchy throat and dry cough might also be results.

What Should Allergy Sufferers Do?

Allergies cannot be cured, but these things might lessen your suffering:

  • Limit exposure to allergens. Keep windows and doors closed, and stay inside on hot, windy days. Also, make sure your air conditioner has an anti-allergen filter.
  • Decongestants like Sudafed and Afrin can reduce tissue swelling and discharge. But, don't use them more than directed, or they could have the opposite effect!
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl and Claritin block the release of the histamines that cause allergy symptoms. But, these drugs work best if taken before the allergy symptoms begin.
  • A saline nasal rinse can lessen swelling and clear mucous, allowing sinuses to drain.

Steroid nasal sprays or oral steroids can be prescribed to reduce inflammation tied to allergies.

Most of the time, allergies are annoying but not dangerous. However, if you experience any of the following, get medical attention:

  • Facial, ear or sinus pain, or colored drainage from the nose.
  • Severe headache.
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing.
  • Cough with lots of colored mucous.
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Monday to Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.