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Hay Fever Season Has Many Sniffling

August 25, 2011, 6:19 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Hay Fever Season Has Many Sniffling
SIOUX FALLS, SD - If your eyes are watering and your nose is running, you're not alone.

Hay fever season is here, and millions of people across the U.S. are itching for remedies.

Shaun Feilmeier has a passion for the outdoors.

"I love going outside pretty much all the time," Feilmeier said.

But this time of year, his passion leads to pain.

"I have to be near tissues if I'm birding or hunting. I have to take something so I don't sneeze the whole time, and it gets kind of gross sometimes," Feilmeier said.

"Plenty of people are having terrible times with the itchy eyes and an itchy, sneezy, plugged-up, runny nose," Dr. Mark Bubak said.

Bubak says over the last couple weeks, he's seen an increase in patients because of hay fever season.

"We're seeing lots and lots of allergy problems. It's back-to-school, so you have the allergies and kids are going to be catching infections from each other," Bubak said.

Bubak says if you're an allergy sufferer, it's already too late in the season for some treatments, like nasal steroid sprays and allergy shots.

"One of the big things is if you have bad allergies is thinking about allergy shots. It's a way of becoming less allergic, and that's kind of a five-year course. It's not your whole life, but it's also too late to get help this season. It would be for people who have terrible allergies now. They do it so that they're better for decades," Bubak said.

But if you're itching for relief now, Bubak recommends over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, like Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra.

"I do a generic Zyrtec, over-the-counter. It seems to work the best for me and the fastest for me, and I don't get any side effects from it," Feilmeier said.

That means Feilmeier can continue pursing his passion in the great outdoors.

"I don't know if I can call myself a birder cause I'm not at that level yet, but I love to watch and ID them and see their behavior. They're really neat animals," Feilmeier said.

Bubak says if you close your windows and doors and run your air conditioner that will also help your allergies.

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