Kroger steward gives allergy tips

As flowers start blooming, one of the biggest health issues for folks is allergies.

Pollen allergies can cause watery eyes, runny noses and constant sneezing.

Kroger Vandalia store #747 steward William Coatie shared some of his experiences living with allergies.

“I kept thinking I had a cold,” Coatie said.

Coatie said he’s probably been suffering from allergies since he was a child.

According to WebMD, plants like ragweed or oak trees produce pollen that can travel through air, causing allergies to flare up. More than 25 million Americans are allergic to pollen, though certain people are allergic to different kinds.

If you find your allergies acting up in the spring and summer, you’re likely allergic to pollen from grass. If you find you’re having trouble in the fall, pollen from weed is likely the problem.

For Coatie, the problems come whenever there’s a change in weather. He uses nasal spray and tablets to help fight off pollen.

He also said that sometimes, your pharmacist can help you save money. He said his pharmacist once referred him to an over-the-counter medicine that was cheaper than what the doctor recommended.

If you’re unsure of whether you’re suffering from allergies, it’s important to know what the symptoms are. WebMD shows itchy throat and eyes, a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing as common signs.

“If they’re not sure, they should go and get it checked out,” Coatie said.

Having a primary care physician can help out a lot, since allergies can change as you get older. Setting up a relationship with a provider when you’re healthy can help save time down the road. Once you get to know your provider, they might be more attuned to changes in your health.

LiveHealth Online can also be a great resource if you think you’re too busy for an in-person visit. LiveHealth Online allows patients to communicate with doctors directly using a computer or smartphone, and Heartland participants pay only $10 per visit.

Allergies can be a pain for your eyes, ears and nose. And if you don’t get it checked by a doctor, Coatie said, “It can get worse.”