CNN: Today is the first day of spring and you may already be feeling those springtime allergies. Those beautiful flowers and trees come with pollen that may be doing a number on your sinuses. Allergist Dr. Thomas Chacko joins us. So good to see you.
Dr. Chacko: Thank you for having me.
CNN: I bet your offices are packed this time of year. Do you have people coming in looking for some sort of relief?
Dr. Chacko: Yes. Now is a very busy time of the year for me.
CNN: It really is. What tips do you have for patients who come in that say I have allergies I really don’t know what to do.
Dr. Chacko: So first I tell them to watch the pollen counts, because you could follow that and then see how bad the pollen will be, and theoretically then how bad your symptoms will be. I say when the pollen counts are really high, they may want to limit their time outdoors. And the other thing I tell them is to use the medicines. One of the best medicines are these saline rinses, the neti pot, these natural saline rinses that will help move the mucus, move the allergen out and then help clean your sinus passages.
CNN: I heard that the neti pot is excellent and also antihistamines. They work as well?
Dr. Chacko: Yes. So there are a lot of now good medications that are over-the-counter like the antihistamines, and now actually the nasal steroids, as well as over-the-counter. Those medicines should help with your symptoms.
CNN: And there’s on Facebook and Pinterest you see all these kind of natural tips like eat spoonfuls of local honey, also lavender, and humidifier. Do they work as well?
Dr. Chacko: The answer is there’s no data on eating local honey as working. That being said, I do have patients that swear by it. So I tell my patients it should not hurt you and it may help. If you want to go more natural I would say one of the best natural treatments you could do are those sinus rinses.
CNN: And what about the air purifier? I’ve put a couple around my house. Do they work?
Dr. Chacko: The air purifiers may help, but they’re not as effective for the pollen. In reality for the pollen, I would drive with your windows up, keep the windows down at home, and then use the A.C.
CNN: But you say still stay active, I mean it’s beautiful here in Atlanta, you can still go outside?
Dr. Chacko: I would always recommend going outside, staying active. Just take your medicines, see your doctor, and you should be able to enjoy your spring.