Many look toward the approaching warmer weather with excitement and anticipation, especially spring and summer brides. But brides-to-be who suffer with allergies might be thinking a bit differently, with fearful thoughts of sneezes, itchy eyes, and sore throats instead.
Fear not spring brides and grooms! BRIDES spoke with William Reisacher, M.D., director of allergy services at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine, for advice and proactive measures to beat spring allergies on your wedding day.
Unfortunately, when spring begins to, well, spring, allergies ramp up, usually due to tree pollen, explains Reisacher. “Ragweed is the most common allergen, and that peaks in the Northeast in August and September. Some people are also symptomatic in the grass, so it depends on the types of things you’re allergic to, the weather and even where you live.” And in the South, pollen is around almost year-round.
If you find yourself sneezing or with a runny or itchy nose, throat, or eyes (or fearing you will face those on your big day), there are some products you can turn to for relief. Reisacher’s best advice? Nasal steroids and antihistamines. He says, “For seasonal allergies, use a nasal steroid spray daily for the two to three months of the season, even if you’re having a good day. Antihistamine tablets are best when used only on the days when your allergies are the worst.”
Being proactive in your remedies can also help significantly, rather than just treating the symptoms when they occur.
“I would recommend beginning a nasal steroid spray daily for the week before the wedding, and then using an antihistamine the day before and the day of the wedding,” says Reisacher. He warns to just be careful, though, “because antihistamines combined with a couple of glasses of champagne will have you sleeping right through your wedding night.”
When to See a Doctor
If your allergy symptoms are really starting to affect your quality of life and/or you are having problems controlling them with over-the-counter treatments, Reisacher recommends seeing a doctor.
There are other, more extensive options available, too. Reisacher says, “If a bride knows that she feels horrible in the spring, there is a treatment known as allergy immunotherapy, which can decrease symptoms, decrease the need for medications and help medications feel more effective.” The therapy, he says, would typically begin six to eight weeks before the beginning of the allergy season, and it can even be done from home, “using liquid allergy extracts placed under the tongue or with a specially prepared toothpaste ordered by prescription from an allergy-trained doctor.”
A Little Good News
Worried that your beautiful, bustling florals might make matters even worse? You can relax. “No need to worry about the flowers causing symptoms,” says Reisacher. “Pollen from flowers is spread by insects, not the wind, so they generally do not cause the symptoms we feel.” However, he adds that some people do react to the strong odors from the flowers, so perhaps select them wisely.