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Is It Allergy Season In California

Along With Warmer Temps Spring Unfortunately Brings Misery To Those Who Suffer From Allergies

Strong Winds Kick Up Pollen, Causing Misery For Northern California Allergy Sufferers

It’s officially spring! While that means warmer temps, super-blooms and the slow crawl towards summer, the season also brings allergies.

According to a 2019 allergy forecast from AccuWeather and Weatherbug, California is currently in the thick of Allergy season.

“At some point during the year, an estimated 50 to 60 million people in the U.S. – – as much as 20 percent of the population – – struggle with allergies,” Weatherbug reports.

Second Reduce Your Exposure To Allergens

Dr. Rubinstein suggests these simple tips to help reduce allergy attacks:

  • Cover bed pillows with allergen-proof liners.
  • Never wear clothes worn outside to the bed.
  • Wash your hands when you come inside to rinse off any pollen.
  • Wash bed linens every week, and other bedding such as blankets and entire comforters monthly.
  • Keep windows closed from sunrise to mid-morning. Pollen levels peak in the morning. Also, keep windows closed if it has been windy.
  • While driving, keep your car windows up and use the recycle air setting to keep pollen out of the car.

When Should I Start Taking Allergy Meds

Theres no point in waiting until youre miserable to take allergy meds, especially if you want to keep up your outdoor workouts. In fact, allergists recommend you start taking meds a couple weeks before allergy season arrives, or, at the latest, take them the moment you begin having symptoms, says Dr. Parikh. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms, he adds. Check out the National Allergy Map to figure out when to start taking meds depending on where you live.

As for which allergy meds to take, if youre seriously stuffed, start with steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase or Rhinocort, which reduce inflammation-induced stuffiness, says Dr. Keet. And if you’ve got itching, sneezing, and a runny nose, too, look for non-sedating antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Xyzal, or Allegra, she adds. Just remember: While OTC allergy meds suppress symptoms, they dont cure the problem, so they may be less effective if your allergies are worsening, notes Dr. Parikh.

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Third Treat Your Allergy Symptoms

The most natural and effective allergy treatment to ease your allergy symptoms is an over-the-counter saline nose rinse, Dr. Rubinstein says.

These rinses flush allergens and other irritants out of the nose before they can trigger symptoms. Be sure to wash the applicator after each use.

A Neti pot or sinus rinse bottle can help you give a thorough rinse to your nose and sinuses.

If you need more help to control symptoms, Dr. Rubinstein recommends over-the-counter medications:

  • Over-the-counter allergy medications are safe for short-term use. They usually ease allergy symptoms within an hour or two, although sometimes they take two to three days to work. They are safe for as-needed or regular use for symptom relief, but do not prevent allergies.
  • Antihistamine eye drops can soothe itchy eyes right away, and theyre safe to use. You can also use artificial tears throughout the day to help soothe irritated eyes.
  • Cortisone nasal sprays are the most effective medicines to help prevent allergies. They can help reduce your allergic reaction. Theyre safe to use regularly, Dr. Rubinstein says, but often take up to a few weeks to have an impact.

Your doctor can help you decide which medications are best for your symptoms, and may refer you to an allergist for specialty care. Dont skip this important step, Dr. Rubinstein says. You should consult with your doctor before using any over-the-counter medication regularly.

Get Seasonal Allergy Relief No Matter Where You Live

Allergies Are Seasonal, and Now is the Season

In the spring, the warm weather will bring people outdoors to face one of the seasons biggest problems: tree pollen. Grass Pollen follows later in spring into summer. Then in the late summer and early fall, weed pollen especially ragweed pollen can make you miserable.

There are also options available to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medicines such as antihistamines
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays
  • Immunotherapy allergy shots or tablets for long-term treatment to reduce how severe your allergic reactions are

Talk with your doctor before allergy seasons begin to discuss which treatment is right for you.

The Impact of COVID-19

In 2020, fewer people were affected by pollen allergies. When the year started, experts thought weather and pollen would have significant effects. But by the spring, COVID-19 restrictions kept people inside more. This led to less pollen exposure. Children felt the least impact from seasonal allergies due to closed schools and less time spent outdoors.

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What Are Allergy Shots And What Can They Do For Me

Allergy shots are called immunotherapy and they may help to make your immune system less sensitive to the things that cause your allergy symptoms.

Should I Have Allergy Shots?

Maybe– If you are allergic to an unavoidable plant, animal, or insect. Maybe– If you have to take large amounts of medicine to control your allergies but still have symptoms. Maybe– If your allergies are seriously affecting your daily life. Maybe– If you have lost days to fatigue and infection. Maybe– If you are willing to make a commitment of 3 to 5 years of year-round injections.

When Is It Time To See A Specialist

There’s no need to suffer in silence with allergies, Lanting and Sigmon said. But how do you know when it might be time to see a specialist?

Sigmon said it’s appropriate for patients to try to manage their symptoms with over-the-counter medicines for 10 to 14 days. If there’s no relief or if symptoms worsen or impact your lungs, it’s time to see your health care provider.

“You don’t have to put up with them,” Lanting added. “One-third of the world’s population has an allergy. It’s a specialty for a reason.”

Anyone who is sensitive to animals, dust, molds, should get tested, he said. “The great thing about testing is you can know who your enemies are and what you can do about them. You shouldn’t wait for a bad season to be evaluated properly so you can live a great life.”

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In the San Francisco Bay Area, increased pollen counts due to higher-than-average rainfall this year have made allergies much more difficult to manage. For some allergy sufferers, antihistamines alone are no longer adequate enough to treat their symptoms.

And while California allergy sufferers can limit exposure to their triggers, or plan more indoor activities, these can significantly impact their quality of life.

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Allergy Season Now Occurs Year

Did shelter-in-place order create worse allergy season in Sacramento region?

In some regions such as Southern California, allergy season happens year-round. Typically, when winds blow off the ocean, there is very little pollen in the air. But when Santa Ana wind conditions occur, Southern California residents are hit with allergens from as far away as Nevada and Arizona. In addition, after it rains, the trees, winds and grasses in the canyons wake up and send out pollen clouds.

And because California does not have four distinct seasons, allergens are in the air constantly which worsens nasal allergies, and triggers chronic drainage and congestion, making allergy sufferers more vulnerable to colds and sinus infections.

In Northern California this year, in particular, higher-than-average rainfall levels have spurred more plants to grow, thus releasing more pollen into the air. Researchers at Harvard and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, estimated that grass pollen, the scourge of many Bay Area allergy sufferers, will increase by up to 200%.

The effects of climate change have also pushed temperatures up, thereby increasing allergy season length and its intensity3.

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A Scripps Allergist Offers Tips To Keep Symptoms Under Control

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. In fact, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And while San Diegans who moved here from other regions are often relieved to find the seasonal allergies they suffered with back home seem to disappear, they might be surprised to learn San Diego has an allergy season too. It begins January 1 and ends December 31.

This region is unique. Theoretically, if the wind is blowing off the ocean, we should have very little pollen in the air, says Ronald Simon, MD, an allergist at Scripps Clinic. But when we get a Santa Ana wind condition, we get hit with allergens from as far away as Nevada and Arizona. And after rains, the trees, weeds and grasses in our canyons wake up and send out pollen clouds.

Allergies can make colds worse

Because San Diego doesnt have four distinct seasons like the East and the Midwest, allergens are in the air constantly. This can exacerbate nasal allergies, triggering chronic drainage and congestion, leaving allergy sufferers vulnerable to sinus infections, bronchitis and colds.

Indoor allergies are different here

Because Southern California never experiences hard freezes and frosts, mold spores never entirely go away here. In fact, local rain patterns and cool temperatures create optimal conditions for them to multiply.

Keep allergy symptoms under control

1. Avoidance and barriers

3. Antihistamines

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Still, over the past few decades, the prevalence of hay fever among Americans has increased from 10 percent of the U.S. population in 1970 to 30 percent in 2000, the National Climate Assessment reported.

For some people, seasonal allergies can also trigger symptoms of asthma which has become more common, too.Asthma rates have increased from approximately eight to 55 cases per 1,000 persons to around 55 to 90 cases per 1,000 persons over that same time period. Asthma rates are even higher among African-Americans, low-income households and children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma is the third-ranked cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and accounted for 1.8 million emergency room visits in 2015. In 2016, it killed 3,518 people in the U.S.

Seasonal allergies and asthma not only impose significant health burdens, but are very expensive, too. According to the CDC, Americans spend $18 billion a year on managing their allergies and asthma costs the U.S. $56 billion each year.

And unless emissions of heat-trapping gases start dropping dramatically, experts predict things are going to get worse not just for those who suffer from pollen allergy, but also for those who never had allergies before.

Here are some other tips from the group:

Outdoor Exposure

Indoor Exposure

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Why Your Fall Allergies Feel Worse In Colorado This Year

If your allergy symptoms feel worse this year, they probably are. But it can be hard to tell the difference between seasonal allergies exacerbatfed by smoke blanketing the area from California wildfires and, perhaps, COVID-19.

Fort Collins allergist Dr. Bill Lanting of Allergy & Asthma Center of the Rockies said this year’s rough allergy season can be blamed on a wet spring.

Good precipitation in the spring led to a good tree, grass and weed season.

“Even though it’s been dry the last couple of months, everything was well seeded and there was more concentration of allergens out there,” Lanting said.

Certain weeds, like ragweed, are more prominent in the fall. And as trees drop their leaves, they can increase mold counts, said Dr. Jason Sigmon, a UCHealth otolaryngologist in Steamboat Springs. “Everything that was living that’s now dead involves mold,” he said.

When Will Allergy Season Peak In 2021 An Allergy Forecast

Seasonal Allergy Treatment in California, Oregon ...

Spring is creeping up fast in the United States, and that means warmer weather is on the horizon after a rough winter in some regions, but for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there may only be a few weeks left in some parts of the country before allergens begin to kick into full gear. And one part of the nation is already beginning to feel the effects of the spring pollen season.

New research from Germany suggests that climate change is now causing allergy season to last longer, as rising temperatures are causing plants to bloom earlier, and pollen from early-blooming locations are traveling into later-blooming locations, UPI recently reported.

AccuWeather meteorologists, led by Senior Meteorologist Alan Reppert, released their annual spring allergy forecast this week, after digging into the data and exploring which areas of the country may experience an early or extended season as well as which areas could face higher-than-usual pollen counts.

Simply put, different allergens will begin to affect Americans at different points in the season, depending on the region and the weather conditions. AccuWeather forecasters have you covered on where in the U.S. allergy sufferers may need to stock up on tissues — and keep the windows closed at times this upcoming season.

Tree pollen forecast

The Southeast is already beginning to experience the first effects of allergy season. Trees around the Gulf Coast in particular, Reppert said, have begun releasing pollen.

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Climate Change Linked To Longer Allergy Season In Bay Area Stanford Study Finds

Air levels of pollen and mold spores in the San Francisco Bay Area are elevated for about two more months per year than in past decades, and higher temperatures are to blame, a Stanford Medicine study has found.

Stanford researchers have found that changes in temperature and rainfall have lengthened allergy season in the Bay Area.Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock

Bay Area allergy sufferers take note: Climate change has lengthened the local pollen and mold season by eight to nine weeks per year during the past two decades, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study, based on allergen data collected starting in 2002 in Los Altos Hills, California, found that local temperature increases are linked to longer tree and grass pollen seasons, while changes in local precipitation are linked to more mold spores in the air. Tree pollen and mold seasons each grew by about half a week per year from 2002 through 2019, the study found. The research, the first to analyze the effects of climate change on airborne allergens in the San Francisco Bay Area, was published online June 17 in the journal Scientific Reports.

As an allergist, it is my duty to follow the pollen counts, and I was noticing that the start date of the tree pollen season was earlier every year, she said. My patients were complaining, and I would say, This is such a tough year, but then I thought, wait, Im saying that every year.

When Does The Ragweed Allergy Season Start And End In California

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Blame Climate Change For This Summers Bad Allergy Season

Allergic man blowing on wipe in a park on spring season a sunny day

If you’ve felt like your seasonal allergies are worse this year, you’re not alone. Higher temperatures are linked with longer tree and grass pollen seasons.

According to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports, temperature increases in northern California are worsening pollen-related allergies, while precipitation changes are associated with more mold spores in the air.

“Climate change is really a problem for health, and we are living and breathing the effects of climate change now,” said the study’s senior author, Kari Nadeau, professor of medicine and of pediatrics at Stanford School of Medicine.

Nadeau, according to a news release, became interested in the subject because she noticed that patients said their seasonal allergies were getting worse.

“As an allergist, it is my duty to follow the pollen counts, and I was noticing that the start date of the tree pollen season was earlier every year,” Nadeau said. “My patients were complaining, and I would say, ‘This is such a tough year,’ but then I thought, wait, I’m saying that every year.”

While the study is local to northern California, the trend tracks across the United States.

Last year, masks coincidentally provided some relief for allergy sufferers. Pollen grains range in size from 200 microns to 10 microns, and masks were able to block some of them out when people stepped outside.

Symptoms Of Common Allergic Season

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Symptoms of allergy season It manifests itself in different ways and degrees, depending on the sensitivity of the individuals immune system. Medications can help relieve some of these symptoms, but other medications may need to avoid exposure to the trigger. People with hay fever may have one or more of these symptoms.

1. Itching

Itching occurs when mast cells, a type of white blood cell in the body, release a chemical called histamine. Itching can be localized or generalized to specific areas such as the eyes, nose, and skin, depending on the area of the body that is exposed to the allergen.

2. Dry cough

Throat irritation due to post-nasal drip causes a characteristic dry cough that correlates with allergies. Post-nasal drip is the flow of accumulated fluid and mucus from behind the nasal passages into the throat.

3. Wheezing

Wheezing is the most commonly heard whistling sound in asthmatics and patients with airway hypersensitivity. The influx of respiratory allergens causes the release of fluid and mucus that accumulates and blocks the small airways of the lungs.

4. Runny nose

Allergens in the inhaled air cause the production of fluid that accumulates in the nose and is expelled. Nasal secretions are often clear, but can appear mucoid.

5. Sneezing

This is a reflex reaction by foreign matter such as pollen, dust, and other air particles in the nose. Sneezing acts as a defense mechanism to expel inhaled airborne allergens, which are nasal irritants.

6. Swollen eyes

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