Spring has sprung! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the pollen is flowing!


According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 36 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Fortunately, if you are one of them, Michael Latshaw, MD, otolaryngology specialist/ENT and his team at UAB Medical West are here to help you live your best life by finding allergy relief this season!


What Are the Most Common Types of Allergies?


During this time of year, the most common cause of allergic rhinitis as seen at UAB Medical West is the seasonal allergens like pollen, grasses, and trees, which make their yearly return in springtime. Perennial allergens, including dust and pet dander, are also common this time of year.


“When allergies start to affect your quality of life, it is time to seek medical treatment,” says Dr. Latshaw. “In some cases, home remedies and over-the-counter medications are not enough. Therefore, it is time to speak with a medical professional who can assist in proper diagnosis and treatment of your seasonal allergies, especially if it is causing you to miss work or other activities.”


How Are Allergies Diagnosed and Treated?


Many times people might think they are just suffering from a cold when, in fact, they are experiencing allergy symptoms.


“Symptoms of an allergy exacerbation are similar to those of a cold, which include nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat,” says Dr. Latshaw. “Allergy symptoms can also be associated with sneezing and watery eyes.”


If you are suffering from one or more of these aforementioned allergy symptoms, it is definitely time to seek the assistance of a medical professional who can help you in the diagnosis and treatment of your allergies.


When you make an appointment with UAB Medical West, physicians will sit down and discuss your medical history, as well as ask questions that may point them to an area where they need to focus on during your physical exam. Allergy testing and blood work might also be completed to understand exactly what you might be allergic to and how to establish the right treatment plan for you and your allergies.


“It is important to understand what makes you feel better or worse when it comes to your allergy treatment plan,” Dr. Latshaw explains. “Whether it is medications or avoiding high pollen days outside, the key to dealing with seasonal allergies, or any type of allergy for that matter is education and prevention.”


Remember, your physician is on your side when it comes to preventing and treating allergies. Therefore, if he or she makes recommendations of medications and/or lifestyle modifications to limit your allergic reactions, it is important to be consistent with your action plan so you can regain your quality of life.


Are you tired of suffering from seasonal allergies? The medical team at UAB Medical West in Bessemer, AL, is here to help.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Latshaw, call 205-481-6820.