For some — such as those who suffer from seasonal allergies — the appearance of delicate pink and white blossoms perched on various tree branches throughout the region in the spring is not a beautiful sight.
And if you’re an allergy sufferer, even if you missed the blossoms along your daily commute, your sniffling nose, burning eyes and subsequent sneezing fits will certainly remind you that with spring conditions brings the pollen invasion.
Local pharmacist, Ken Cosner, owner of River Oak Pharmacy in Oakdale, said springtime is the worst offender for seasonal allergies and business certainly picks up as people try to find relief in various medications, such as antihistamines or in some cases, more potent allergy prescriptions.
Unfortunately, unless you want to wear a mask when out and about, there is little you can do to avoid being affected by the allergens in the air, particularly pollen allergens in the spring.
“If you can avoid breathing in or being exposed to the allergens that would be about the only thing you can do, such as wearing a mask, but most people don’t want to go to that extreme,” Cosner said.
The relatively mild weather brought the blossoms into bloom about two weeks early, which was not exactly welcome news to allergy sufferers but the recent rain storms will settle the pollen level down for a while, said Cosner.
“It will improve the situation but with the Central Valley’s dirty air, some people suffer all year long,” he said.
It used to be that the good allergy medication could only be obtained with a prescription but many popular brands are now releasing Over-The-Counter versions of their top-selling allergy medications, which is a benefit to the consumer.
However, with the increased options on the shelf, sometimes it can be difficult for people to determine which, is the right medication for their symptoms.
Cosner’s advice is simple.
“Ask your pharmacist,” he said. “If you’re not sure which is right for you, please just ask your pharmacist. No matter how busy I am that’s the reason I’m here. I appreciate being asked.”
Cosner enjoys the challenge of finding the right medication for his patients and says in the 34 years he’s been a pharmacist, he’s always discovering new ways to help his patients.
The River Oak Pharmacy is located at 1080 W. F Street in Oakdale.
For more information about allergy concerns, call 209-847-2226.