Identifying The True Culprit
Through methodical study and self-experimentation, Dr. Charles Blackley identified that pollen was to blame for allergy symptoms. He collected, identified, and described various pollens and then determined their allergic properties by rubbing them into his eyes or scratching them on his skin. He then noted which ones resulted in redness and itching. This same technique is used in skin prick testing by allergists today.
Inspired by discoveries related to vaccination, Dr. Leonard Noon and John Freeman prepared doses of pollen extracts for injection in an effort to desensitize patients with allergic rhinitis in the early 1900s. This effective treatment, called allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is still used today.
Antihistamines first became available in the 1940s, but they caused significant sedation. The formulations with fewer side effects that are used today have only been available since the 1980s.
Spring Allergies A Survival Guide
Learn the symptoms, triggers and resources for relieving the effects of hay fever, pollen and other springtime sensitivities
Spring is here, but those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies dont need a calendar to know when the flowers, trees and grass are awakening after a long cold winter. While the pollen and particles in the air can turn a pleasant spring outing into misery for many of us, there are several simple things we can do to prevent a serious immune response and get relief.
Recognize The Symptoms And Know When To Seek Medical Assistance
While it is good to take note of all the available preventative measures, it is also important to be aware of which symptoms to look out for, and to know what to do when symptoms start to show. Even if your loved one has never been known to suffer season allergies in the past, it is still important to be on the lookout for traditional signs of allergies such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. If you spot any of these symptoms, alert their physician immediately. Rapid and aggressive treatment is the best way to cure seasonal allergies in a senior. It is also good to be aware of treatment options â like we have mentioned earlier, the regularly-used anti-histamines may not be an appropriate form of treatment for seniors. It is important that you know which treatment options are more appropriate.
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Pollen Counts Likely To Grow
Though recognized by ancient civilizations, seasonal allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma have only increased in prevalence in recent history and are on the rise, now affecting 10 to 30 percent of the worlds population.
Fueled by warmer temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels, pollen seasons are longer, and pollen counts are higher. Many experts believe this will worsen in the coming years due in large part to climate change.
What can you do? Often, those who are allergic need a multifaceted approach.
- Find out what allergens are causing your symptoms. Take note of when your symptoms start by making a note in a calendar or planner.
- Minimize exposure to allergens. Track pollen counts. When pollen counts are high, keep the windows closed at home and in the car. After spending time outdoors, shower and change clothing to prevent ongoing exposure to pollen.
- Take a proactive approach to treating symptoms. Starting medications before symptoms develop can prevent symptoms from getting out of control. This can also decrease the amount of medication needed overall. Long acting non-sedating antihistamines are helpful for itching and sneezing. Nasal corticosteroid sprays are more helpful for stuffy noses.
- Consider a visit to see a board-certified allergist/immunologist. She or he can help you determine which particular pollens maybe the source of your symptoms.
If I Have Allergies Will My Kids Have Them Too
Unfortunately, the pollen doesn’t fall far from the tree. In this case, family can be destiny.
“If one parent has allergies, then his child has a 33% chance of developing allergies,” says Kao. “If both parents have allergies, then their child has a 67% chance.”
His advice to avoid passing your allergies on to your kids? “Be careful whom you marry,” says Kao, half joking.
Originally published in the March/April 2008 issue ofWebMD the Magazine.
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Do Patients Come To You With Common Misconceptions About Allergies
The most common misconception that we hear about allergies is that although someone is allergic to cats or dogs, their pet is hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat. We understand how important pets are to families, however, and work with families on interventions that work best for the family.
What Are The Most Common Spring And Summer Allergies How Do The Two Seasons Differ In Terms Of Allergies
The most common spring and summer allergies are the pollens and molds. The pollens come from various types of trees, grasses and weeds. In Chicago, the trees generally pollinate in March, April and May. The grass pollinates in May and June. The weeds pollinate from mid-August through the end of September. Outdoor mold starts creeping up at the beginning of June but really becomes a problem in September and October when the leaves are falling from the trees. The mold counts stay high until the first frost.
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Determine If You Need To Take Any Medications
Once you start suffering from symptoms of Spring allergy season, you need to determine which allergy medications are a good fit for your symptoms. You should consult your doctor on this, as he or she is likely to have some recommendations. You should start taking this medications, whether a nasal spray, pill or other form of medication, just as your symptoms begin to affect you. Also make sure to take your medication before peak allergy season begins, as this can help alleviate symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, and itchy and watery eyes.
If you take these precautions seriously and keep in mind how your allergies affect your daily health and wellness, you will survive Spring allergy season. A combination of medications and self-awareness will go a long way, and if you have any other questions or concerns, your doctor will do a great job in describing exactly what you need to do to keep the allergy symptoms at bay during the Spring and throughout the rest of the year.
Allergy Symptoms Vs Covid
Also, it’s important to keep in mind these days the difference between seasonal allergy symptoms and symptoms of . The coronavirus is considered a respiratory disease, so it can cause symptoms that appear to be sinus-related, but there are some important and subtle differences that can help you distinguish COVID from your usual bout of spring allergies. Visit the AAFAs COVID-19 Resource Center for a detailed chart comparing symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinitis, COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold. And if you develop a dry cough or fever, get a COVID test ASAP.
- Allergy Statistics: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergy Facts. acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/allergies
- Prevalence of Hay Fever: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Allergies and Hay Fever. cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/allergies.htm
- A/C Maintenance: U.S. Department of Energy. Maintaining Your Air Conditioner. energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner
- Face Masks & Allergic Rhinitis:Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. Reduction of allergic rhinitis symptoms with face mask usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467086/
- Allergy vs. COVID Symptoms: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. COVID-19 Resource Center. aafa.org/asthma/asthma-triggers/other-health-conditions/respiratory-infections/covid-19-new-coronavirus.aspx
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Consider An Allergy Vacation
I have done this a number of years. Our spring break is in April and we often take a trip to Florida where our allergies disappear for a week. Often a beach or seashore area, even close to where you live, can provide some relief. Besides, we allergy suffers deserve to take a break and relax. Last year, we even got to hug a dolphin!
You can pick up FLONASE® Sensimist at your local CVS Pharmacy! With over 9,000 CVS Pharmacy locations around the US, you will likely find a location near you! to use their store locator.
Tips To Survive The Spring Allergy Season
Spring is here and all the beauty that comes with it: flowers, fresh air, warmer temps, and those wonderful longer days. Whats not to love? Oh, right, allergies! And all the lovely side effects that go with them itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat. You may feel that you cant enjoy the spring weather with pollen and other allergens floating in the air. Luckily, you can still make the most of your allergy season with these easy tips!
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Tip #: Make Sure Its Really Allergies
Before you can properly treat allergic rhinitis, its best to determine that your symptoms are actually a reaction to allergens. After all, your nasal congestion could be a sign of a cold or sinus infection. The symptoms for all three of these illnesses are similar, but there are some telltale differences that can help you pinpoint a correct diagnosis.
Colds and sinus infections often cause a runny nose with yellow or green discharge, whereas the mucus from allergies is clear and watery. Additionally, because a cold or sinus infection is caused by bacteria or a virus, youre likely to have a fever with these. With allergies, even a low-grade fever is uncommon. If youre experiencing sinus pressure, bad breath and achy teeth, you likely have a sinus infection.
The duration of your illness can also be a clue as to what you have. Colds and sinus infections typically last two days to two weeks on the other hand, allergies can last anywhere from a couple days to a few months depending on how long youre exposed to an allergen.
How To Cope With Hay Fever Symptoms
Regardless of whether your allergies are mild or severe, or if it is a skin or eye allergy, it doesnt take long for you to start feeling lousy after seasonal allergy symptoms strike. So how do you prevent seasonal allergies from getting in the way of your day? Here are some helpful tips to reduce or keep symptoms from worsening.
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Allergy Sufferers Should Start Taking Medications Now To Stay One Step Ahead Of Symptoms
Experts at Aerobiology Research Laboratories who specialize in pollen and spore identification and research in Canada say there has been a late start to allergy season, but that it has arrived in British Columbia with the rest of Canada not far behind.
The aeroallergen monitoring firm collects pollen samples daily at collection sites across Canada and looks at when pollens are present in the air in each city, assessing the average pollen season length and the number of very high pollen days.
Last year, the average allergy season length across Canada was 115 days, with Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Hamilton, and Brampton experiencing the longest seasons.
Tree pollen allergy season start and end dates across Canada last year with number of very high pollen days in each city. Pharmacists recommend that allergy sufferers should start taking their medication about two weeks prior to the start of allergy season as some medications can take a few weeks to become fully effective.
For allergy suffers, the arrival of pollen in the air underlines the importance of taking allergy medications proactively, says London Drugs Pharmacist Craig Forster, in this CTV News story.
Some medications can take a few weeks to become fully effective, so ideally, allergy sufferers should start taking their medication two weeks prior to the start of allergy season to stay one step ahead of symptoms.
Spring Allergy Survival Guide
Spring has been slow in coming to the Northeast this year, with lingering cold temperatures and the occasional flurry.
But it was abundantly clear that spring weather is on its way at a family gathering this past weekend when my highly allergic brother sneezed no less than 100 times.
I could be exaggerating the number, but I think hed agree that there may as well have been that many. And thats only the tip of the iceberg.
Once the weather warms up and flowers and trees begin to bloom, hell likely add watery and itchy eyes, stuffy and runny nose, and a scratchy throat to his list of seasonal allergy symptoms.
Try these spring allergy tips, so your little one can smell the flowers without sneezing. But my brother and other allergy sufferers like him dont have to take their seasonal allergies lying down.
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Identify If Its Really Allergies
When temperatures fluctuate quickly , it can be hard to tell if your congestion is caused by allergies, a cold, or a virus.
If your congestion lasts more than two weeks, your symptoms increase after being exposed to a common trigger, or your eyes, nose, and throat are itchy, you might suspect allergies over a cold or virus. However, instead of turning to Google to diagnose the cause of your symptoms, visit a provider to see if youre experiencing allergies.
Stay Indoors On Windy Days
Wind helps carry pollen through the air. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , pollen can travel up to 400 miles from its original source.
If you suffer from allergies, the best time to be outside is after a rainy day. Rain helps clear the air of pollen by minimizing the pollen count.
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What To Do To Prepare For Spring Allergy Season
The first step in preparing for spring allergy season it to figure out what exactly you are allergic to. This can easily be determined through a simple allergy test. After that, you should keep an eye on the local allergy forecast and make sure you minimize your exposure to what allergens you are allergic to. If its dust, that may involve you cleaning up your home or replacing your carpets with hardwood floors, and if its pollen, it may be smart for you to stay indoors so that you are not exposed to it and other outdoor allergens.
Easy Ways To Survive Spring Allergies
Spring is here! As warmer weather comes to Southeast, so does the four-to-six-week springtime bloom that begins in May. During this period, a large cloud of tree pollen explodes across Alaska as birch, alder and cottonwood trees begin to flower. This beautiful change in the seasons is bittersweet for people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Allergy symptoms can range from mildly annoying to health-threatening and often includes the following:
- Itchy throat and eyes
- Mucus draining in the back of the throat
If you are one of the millions of people in the U.S. who suffer from the above symptoms when spring comes, here are five ways to keep seasonal allergies at bay.
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Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies
As spring weather suddenly changes from cool to warm, it may be challenging to distinguish between an allergic reaction and a cold or the flu.
For many of us, symptoms of seasonal allergies can be mild and an annoyance like sneezing, itchy eyes, or a runny nose. Other symptoms can include a headache, fatigue, sore throat, congestion, or coughing.
Do You Have Seasonal Allergies Or Covid
Having seasonal allergies is annoying at any time, but it creates some challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With COVID out there, differentiating between the two has been difficult,” Corbett said, because there can be some overlap in the symptoms of allergies and a coronavirus infection.
Some of the symptoms can be similar because, with a viral infection, you’re going to have congestion and runny nose,” Azar explained. But there are some ways to differentiate the two conditions, he said.
For instance, despite the nickname “hay fever,” allergies don’t typically cause a fever, Corbett said. So, if you’re feeling congested and your temperature is up, that’s a sign you might have something other than allergies.
Also, if you have systemic symptoms, like body aches or a general feeling of being unwell, that’s another reason to think beyond allergies, Azar said. “Plus, with COVID, there’s some significant problems with people having reduced sense of smell and taste.”
If you have some ambiguous symptoms and you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, it’s definitely worth taking a COVID-19 test just in case.
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Can You Develop Allergies Later In Life Answering Your Spring Questions
But the exact seasonal patterns vary depending on where in the country you live. For instance, if you’re in the South, you might experience spring and tree pollen season a little earlier than the rest of the U.S., Corbett said. And some allergens are known to be particularly severe in certain areas, like the “cedar fever” that plagues areas of Texas and Oklahoma, Blair added.
Contrary to popular belief, though, the colorful flower blossoms we see in the spring aren’t a major cause of allergy symptoms. Pretty things dont typically produce a lot of airborne pollen, Corbett explained. Thats why they have the insects the bees that pollinate them.
What Are The Most Common Spring Allergens
Tree pollen is the most common spring allergen, according to a 2021 allergy report from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America .1 Even if you dont live by a forest, tree pollen is more likely to affect you because the pollen grains are very small. Were talking about the tiniest of pinches containing thousands of grains, which are even smaller than ragweed pollen grains, the main fall allergy offender. The wind can carry tree pollen for several miles, making spring allergies especially hard to avoid.
There are lots of different tree types that release pollen associated with spring allergies, including:
Grass pollens can also trigger spring allergies for many people, but it depends on where you live. Grass allergies are at their worst in the late spring and early summer in northern states in the South, grasses may release pollen all year long, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Weed pollen is typically more of late summer or early fall allergen, so you might be spared in the spring.
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