Ask the Specialists: Featuring Dr. Hamsa Subramanian

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Physicians and Practitioners

Dr. Hamsa Subramanian was recently featured in the October 16 issue of Town & Style Magazine in St. Louis. For the full article, please visit the Town & Style website.

October 16, 2018Town and Style magazine cover

I always have had seasonal allergies. This year has been worse than ever, but I really don’t like to take medicine. Is there another therapy you recommend?

Dr. Hamsa Subramanian, Allergist and Immunologist at Signature Medical Group:

Some allergy patients say they don’t like to take medications because they worry about ingredients like steroids or side effects such as drowsiness. Unlike some other health conditions, prevention doesn’t lead to a cure because you often can’t escape what causes your allergies. Researchers think symptoms are increasing because ozone levels, rising temperatures and smog contribute to high pollen concentrations. My first advice for people with symptoms affecting quality of life is to see a physician and follow his or her instructions. This especially includes patients with allergy-related conditions like asthma, insomnia, headaches, sinus infections and ear problems.

A number of medications are known to be safe and effective, but those who still don’t want to take them may find allergy injections a good alternative. The first year of therapy can be time consuming because you have to build up the dose weekly in the beginning, then switch to every two, three and then four weeks. But after treatment, many people only need medication occasionally and some can wean off of it altogether.

Patients also can try changing their habits and surroundings to reduce the effects of allergies. It’s not a perfect solution to the problem, but it may help. Try grooming household pets often, and keep them out of the bedroom. Keep windows closed, wear sunglasses when outdoors, use artificial tears, and stay informed about pollen counts. Pollen levels tend to be lowest before dawn, in the evening and after rain showers, so plan your outdoor exercise and activities accordingly.

An honest conversation with your doctor is the most important part of the plan. A good allergist will listen to the patient’s concerns, dispel any misconceptions and create a treatment plan to fit the person’s lifestyle and preferences. +


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