3 Tips to Help PAH Patients Cope with Allergies

allergies with pulmonary hypertension

You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers…..and allergies.

The nasal congestion, running nose, itchy eyes and sore throat can be a pain for anyone suffering from allergies. These symptoms are especially bothersome for Pulmonary Hypertension patients. Read below for 3 tips to help PAH patients get through allergy season.

1.     Nasal Lubricant

Many PAH patients require the use of oxygen during the day, with exercise or while they are sleeping. It can be very uncomfortable and not terribly effective to wear a nasal canula while your nose is either gushing with drainage or too stuffed up to breath. Using a saline-based nasal gel to keep the nasal passage moist makes wearing oxygen more comfortable during allergy season. Our patients have really liked AYR nasal gel which can be found over the counter at most pharmacies.

2.     Avoid Using Over the Counter Medications With Decongestants in Them

Always check with your physician before taking over the counter medications but, in general, allergy medications such as Claritin or Allegra are safe for PAH patients.  However Claritin D and Allegra D that contain a decongestant should be avoided as they can increase the pressure in the pulmonary arteries. Nasal sprays such as Afrin, which contain a decongestant, and should be avoided for the same reason.

3.     Limit Exposure to Known Allergens

If you are sensitive to pollen, avoid being outdoors in a flower garden on a windy day while pollen is flying.  Windy days are usually not great days for patients with lung diseases to be outdoors due to dust and other irritants being air born.  If you can avoid being outside on particularly breezy days do so. If not, consider covering your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling tiny particles of dust and pollen.