Flower bloom calls for pollen boom: prepare for allergy season with these tips

(Stan Tsykov is a Pharmacist and the owner of your local Shoppers Drug Mart at 1300 Stittsville Main Street. Stittsville Central is pleased to share his expertise in health matters.)

As shifting seasonal patterns and warming temperatures delay spring across the country(1) experts are predicting a pollen boom,(2) meaning Stittsville community members can anticipate more intense allergy symptoms this season. Allergies for many are not simply an inconvenience – they can have an impact on our everyday life. Between wheezing and sneezing, it can be challenging to find relief, but fortunately for Ontarians, this year’s allergy season is the first-time pharmacists can assess and prescribe for allergic rhinitis, in addition to providing recommendations on the right over-the-counter allergy medication for your symptoms.

While seasonal allergies and symptom severity can vary from person-to-person, the best way to manage allergies is to get ahead of your symptoms and consult with your local pharmacist. To help you get through allergy season, I’m sharing tried and true tips for allergy sufferers:

  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Research shows alcohol can cause or worsen the common symptoms of asthma and hay fever, like sneezing, itching, headaches, and coughing. This is because the bacteria and yeast in alcohol produce histamines that cause allergy symptoms to flare up. (3)(4) If battling allergies, opt for mocktails instead!
  • The forecast is your friend. We have all heard the saying “April showers, bring May flowers,” but do you know the rest of the line? Allergies cower! Rainfall washes away pollen, making the aftermath of rainstorms the perfect time for allergy sufferers to enjoy the outdoors. In general, checking the forecast is important for allergy sufferers as warm, windy days can negatively impact allergy symptoms.
  • Talk to your pharmacist. No matter the inconvenient symptom, pharmacists are here to provide convenient care. With the expanded scope of practice announced over the past several years, if appropriate, pharmacists in Ontario can assess and prescribe for allergies.

For more information on a specific allergy remedy or service, speak with your local pharmacist. Stan Tsykov is a pharmacist and owner of your local Shoppers Drug Mart in Stittsville. Visit the local Shopper’s Drug Mart website at ShoppersDrugMart.ca.

(1) Johnson, A.D. How climate change is making your seasonal allergies symptoms worse. Time. 10 April 2023.
(2) Johnson, A.D. How climate change is making your seasonal allergies symptoms worse. Time. 10 April 2023.
(3) Bendsten et al. Alcohol consumption and allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008; 38:7.
(4) Vally, et al. Allergic and asthmatic reactions to alcoholic drinks. Society for the Study of Addiction. 2006; 8:1.


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