How To Manage Weather Allergy Symptoms
The key to managing allergy and asthma symptoms is knowing your triggers. You might find cold air ramps up your asthma symptoms. Pollen might bother you a bit, or it can make you miserable.
Asthma and allergies are unique to each person, so identifying what worsens your symptoms is vital. Ideas that may help:
- Use an app or weather forecasting site to keep an eye on potential changes that might affect you. Watch the pollen count, mold spore count, air quality index, humidity, temperature and changes in barometric pressure. Sign up for alerts via email or text.
- Limit outdoor exercise in weather that affects you or if the air quality is poor.
- Wear a mask when gardening or cutting grass to limit particles and mold spores.
- Use a scarf to shield your mouth and nose in cold weather. It warms and humidifies the air before you breathe it in, reducing shock to your airways.
- Keep humidity levels in your home steady. Air conditioning, dehumidifiers or humidifiers, as needed, can help keep your airways from becoming inflamed.
- Take all your asthma medication as prescribed. These help you control your asthma daily and during a flare. Follow your doctors advice.
How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies Or Covid
Before you stress out, know that theres one positive aspect when it comes to allergens in the year 2021: Masks mean less inhalation of pollen through the nose or mouth, and that may translate to decreased symptoms for some sufferers, explains Manisha Relan, MD, a board-certified allergist. Noted!
That said, if youre worried about telling the difference between symptoms, whenever they do arise, listen up: The COVID and allergy symptoms that typically overlap are headaches, wheezing, and sore throat. Its also possible to experience nasal congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing with COVID, too, though these are more commonly allergy symptoms. A dry cough, shortness of breath, and loss of smell, are all likely COVID-19 symptoms, though theres always the possibility that these are the side effects of allergies.
Overall, though, if youre having trouble telling if your symptoms are allergies or COVID, your best bet is to check in with a doctors office or urgent-care center.
When To Seek Medical Help
If youre unresponsive to over-the-counter allergy medication or if your allergies cause you to cough or wheeze, you could suffer from more than allergies which means its time to see a doctor. Allergies can turn into asthma or an upper-respiratory illness such as bronchitis or a sinus infection, so its important to see an allergist who can assess your symptoms and develop a tailored treatment plan, which includes testing you for food allergies, asthma, and other conditions.
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Were Already Seeing A Strong Signal Of Climate Change In Pollen
In general, pollen is emerging earlier in the year and the season is stretching out longer and longer, especially pollen from ragweed.
Ragweed is handy for studying the impacts of climate on pollen and allergies because its an annual plant, unlike trees or perennials. This allows scientists to separate out how variables like winter temperatures and rainfall in the preceding season influence ragweed pollen.
Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist who formerly worked at the USDAs Agricultural Research Service, told Vox that the change in carbon dioxide concentrations from a preindustrial level of 280 parts per million to todays concentrations of more than 400 ppm has led to a corresponding doubling in pollen production per plant of ragweed.
How does this happen? If youve looked at a bag or bottle of plant fertilizer, you may have noticed three numbers that represent the ratio of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium inside. Different ratios encourage different aspects of a plants growth, like flowering or making seeds. Carbon dioxide is also an important nutrient for plants, though its not included in fertilizer . It turns out that higher carbon dioxide concentrations encourage plants to produce more pollen.
For ragweed, you can see a direct pollen response to increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere:
However, for other allergen sources like trees, the groundwork for a severe pollen season can be laid more than a year before the current season.
Bad Allergies Right Now Ragweed Is Likely To Blame
ARKANSAS, USA Most of us likely associate bad allergies and pollen with Spring. Makes sense given that Spring is the time of year when trees bloom and the grass starts to grow. While pollen levels are often high in the spring, they also tend to run high in the beginning of Fall from a completely different culprit.
Ragweed! It’s estimated that around 15 to 25 percent of Americans suffer from ragweed allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. And we are in peak season right now!
WHAT IS RAGWEED?
Ragweed is in fact a weed that grows in 49 of the 50 U.S. states , but is most common in central and eastern portions of the country. There are 17 different types of ragweed plants across the United States. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, says that each ragweed plant can release 1 billion pollen grains! Ragweed pollen is also very light so it can travel hundreds of miles from its original source.
HOW CAN I MINIMIZE ITS IMPACTS?
Here are some things you should know:
- 75 percent of people who are allergic to pollen are allergic to ragweed
- There is no cure for ragweed allergies
- Ragweed pollen is highest during the morning hours
- If you are allergic to ragweed other foods can irritate your mouth due to a similar type of protein
What you can do:
- Plan your time outside when the ragweed counts are lower
- Keep your windows closed in your home and car
- Don’t dry laundry outside
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
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Weeds And Pollen Become Rampant During Longer Summers
Balmy temperatures let much of the country hit the beach for a few extra weeks each yearbut while your spirits soar, so do ragweed and pollen counts.
Counts usually drop significantly by the first week of September, explains Joseph Leija, M.D., founder of the Gottlieb Allergy Count, which provides the official allergy count for the Midwest. But when it gets rainy, grasses and weeds grow out of control depending on where you live. This can include the following:
More weeds means more pollen, a big cause of hay fever , Dr. Leija explains, which affects up to 60 million Americans each year.
Ragweed in particular seems to wreak havoc between August and November, reaching peak levels in mid-September. Just one ragweed plant can product up to 1 billion pollen grains and it can travel far, especially in the Eastern and Midwestern parts of the country, the AAFA says.
How Does Climate Change Impact Seasonal Allergies
Many scientists and doctors think climate change is a factor behind a recent rise in allergies and extreme pollen seasons. Fueled by higher temperatures and milder winters, plants are blooming earlier and longer in some parts of the country. The extended growing season means higher levels of pollen in the air.
Many people with allergies experience worse symptoms when early spring weather fluctuates between warm and cold. This is called the priming effect. When theres an early warm spell, trees and grass release a first round of pollen. The resulting allergic reaction primes a persons immune system for more severe pollen reactions later in the spring.
During longer allergy seasons with high pollen counts, allergy patients may find they need to use more medication to manage symptoms. Talk with your doctor about whether you should adjust your allergy management plan or medication schedule. Find out whether allergen immunotherapy for pollen is right for you.
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Knowing Whats In The Air Helps Us Help You
Oregon Allergy Associates is one of about 50 stations nationally that collects and provides pollen counts to a scientific database for the National Allergy Bureau. Neither the NAB or our office can provide historical pollen data to the public. Our physicians provide the counts as a public service to our community. The pollen is collected using a Burkard air sampler, located on the second story of our office at 15th and Oak Street in downtown Eugene, Oregon.
You Let The Outside In
Mold spores and pollen can stick to everything, including hair, skin, and clothing, Dr. Shah says. You probably dont even realize youre doing it, but theres a good chance youre tracking irritants into the house. Minimize your risk with the following tips:
Wear a face mask when you rake leaves outdoors to avoid breathing in mold spores.
Throw your clothes into the washer and head straight for the shower when youre done biking or gardening,
Brush or wipe down pets after walks. Pollen can hitchhike into your homeand onto your couch, bed, or wherever else your dog likes to hang out.
Leave your shoes outside. Forget dirt and mudyou could be traipsing pollen and mold throughout the house. No outside area? Keep them in a separate closet.
Close the windows. Be sure to do this on windy or high pollen count days, and especially if you live near a busy road. Pollution is an irritant to those with respiratory allergies, says Dr. Leija. Cant bear having no fresh air? PollenTEC makes clean air window and door screens that filter dust, pollen, and exhaust soot so you can enjoy the fall breeze while it lasts.
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Symptoms Of Pollen Allergies
Everyones immune system is different and allergies to pollens can cause diverse signs and symptoms. This means that diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you may have an allergy, keeping a record of your symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing your symptoms.
Treatment For Pollen Allergies
A direct way to manage pollen allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollens. Pollen counts are published in the media and can help you to plan to avoid exposure.Tips to reduce your exposure to pollen include:
- stay indoors in the morning, if possible grass pollens mainly circulate in the morning
- avoid mowing the grass or wear a mask if you do stay indoors when grass is being mowed
- keep windows closed in your home and car
- avoid picnics in parks or in the country during the pollen season
- wear sunglasses to protect your eyes
- plant a low-allergy garden around your home, especially near the windows of your home.
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Md Now Is Your Source For The Highest
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To learn more about our urgent care centers, call 888-MDNow-911 or visit www.MDNow.com.
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Youre Soaking Up The Great Outdoors
As you should be! We cant think of better ways to enjoy the beautiful fall weather than farmers markets and morning hikes. But if youre a seasonal allergy sufferer, any time spent outdoors can stir up symptoms. You dont have to head inside for good, but do reconsider your timing.
Pollen counts are highest from early morning until 10 a.m., so try to postpone your activity until later in the day, suggests Rachna Shah, M.D., allergist and faculty member of Loyola School of Medicine.
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Philly’s Pollen Ragweed And Mold Count Source
Since 1990 The Asthma Center has been the Philly region’s source for daily pollen, ragweed and mold counts. In 2020 we installed a new, revolutionary artifical intelligence powered pollen sensor – the only one of it’s kind in Philadelphia, and one of the few in the Northeast US. With this new pollen technology, we can publish live pollen counts and forecasts throughout the spring and fall allergy seasons.
Our previous counts were obtained by manual analysis and interpretation of pollen samples by a technician. The analysis was done daily and resulted in reporting lags of up to 24 hours, and was not available when the office was closed . The new counts come from machine-learning equipped sensors that automatically convert air samples into pollen forecasts. We will publish the data on this page, and distribute daily snapshots through our email subscription service. This will give allergy sufferers constant access to the data they really need: pollen and mold counts that reflect what is in the air now, not yesterday. For those who want to plan outdoor activities, this is the most reliable way of using current pollen data to make informed decisions about spending outdoor time. Learn More About How We Use Artifical Intelligence to Count Pollen
What We Track:
Diagnosis Of Pollen Allergies
If you have allergic symptoms that seem to appear at certain times of the year, you should visit your family doctor, who will ask some questions about your allergic reactions. You can also discuss your record of your symptoms. To diagnose your allergy, your doctor may refer you to a specialist doctor known as an allergist or clinical immunologist.Allergists can test for allergies using a number of methods depending on the type of potential allergy. To test for an allergy to pollens, the allergist may use a skin prick test or a blood test for allergies.
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Herbal Medicines And Allergies
Asteraceae is a family of flowering plants, including many common species, and some are used in herbal medicines. Pollen from plants in this family is a common cause of hay fever, asthma and dermatitis.Plants from the Asteraceae family include:
- plants grown for their flowers chrysanthemums, dahlias, sunflowers, marigolds, safflower and daisies
- edible foliage plants lettuce, safflower, chicory and artichoke
- weeds ragweed, mugwort, sagebrush, wormwood, feverfew
- plants used in some herbal medicines echinacea, dandelion, chamomile, feverfew, milk thistle and wormwood.
Echinacea can cause severe allergic reaction , asthma attacks, severe hives and swelling in some people, and this can occur when the first dose of echinacea is taken.Pollen from plants in the Asteraceae family can also cause an allergic skin reaction on contact. The pollen can be found in herbal medicines, shampoos, cosmetics and massage oils, and includes pollen from plants such as the:
Sensitisation to pollen of plants from the Asteraceae family has also been linked with allergic reactions to other substances that are similar. This is known as cross-reactivity and has caused allergic reactions to:
- plant-derived herbal medicines echinacea, royal jelly, bee pollen extracts and chamomile
- foods celery, honey, sunflower seeds, carrot, lettuce, watermelon and nuts.
Pollen Allergy Peak Seasons In The Uk
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hayfever, is caused by exposure to grass pollen, tree pollen and other plant pollen which is released into the air.
In the UK pollen exposure is most common in the spring and summer months, but different species of plant pollinate at different times of year, so some individuals may experience symptoms at specific times and none at others.
Sufferers of allergic rhinitis are advised to limit their exposure to airborne pollen as far as possible during the months in which they are affected. Some strategies which may help include:
- Reviewing local weather reports including pollen counts and limiting time spent outside when the count is high.
- Avoiding drying laundry outdoors, particularly clothes and bedding, when pollen counts are high.
- Keeping doors and windows closed during peak months for pollen exposure.
- Avoiding gardening, lawn mowing and other outdoor work during peak months for pollen exposure.
The exact timing, peak, and severity of pollen release will vary from year to year according to the specific weather conditions, with wind, temperature and rainfall all having some effect.
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What Can I Do If My Allergy Meds Aren’t Workingor My Allergies Are Getting Worse
If you’re already taking OTC allergy meds , allergy shots, a.k.a. allergen immunotherapy, make your immune system less reactive to allergens , and for some people, they can even induce a cure, says Dr. Parikh.
By giving small increasing doses of what you are allergic to, you train the immune system to slowly stop being as allergic, she says. This is the best way to address allergies, as it targets the underlying problem and builds your immunity to a specific allergen.
The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment. You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient, too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better . But a life without allergies? Sounds worth it to me.
Pollen & Mold Count 09/20/: 12923
Lambs quarter: 9
Alternaria: 131 Ascospores: 3405 Basidiospores: 294 Cladosporium: 7757 Curvularia: 174 Diatrypaceae: 0 Helminthosporium: 76 Epicoccum: 0 Fusarium: 196 Nigrospora: 109 Periconia: 98 Pithomyces: 54 Rust: 0 Smuts: 261 Stemphylium: 22 Torula: 22 Spegazzinia: 0 Tetraploa: 0 Aspergillus/Penicillium: 0
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How To Alleviate Your Allergy Symptoms
Leeds recommended wearing a brimmed hat and sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes and nose. A solid rinse can also work wonders after spending time outside.
Wash your hands and face after being outdoors for long periods of time, and consider changing your clothes, she said.
If you are particularly sensitive, limit your time outdoors on poor air-quality days. Consider washing your eyes and nose with a saline solution. You might also want to swap out your contact lenses for eyeglasses, as pollen can cling onto lenses and irritate the eye. Cleaning your lenses more frequently and opting for daily disposable contacts can also help relieve itchy, watery eyes.
Pollen can get trapped inside your home, so keep your windows shut and car doors closed. Vacuum often to get rid of allergens trapped in your carpet. If you have AC, set it to nonrecirculated air.
AAFA also recommends using a HEPA air filter to purify the air in your house. And pets can be pollen magnets, so giving them a good rub down is a good idea after a springtime walk, Gupta said.
You might also want to hold onto your face mask a bit longer. The masks we use to protect ourselves against the coronavirus act as a barrier against pollen, too. The better the mask, the better the protection.
N95 masks are ideal for this, but standard masks most people are using to protect one another from COVID-19 also work, Mendez said.