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What Seasonal Allergies Are Out Now

Seasonal Allergies: What You Need To Know

What Happens When You Have Seasonal Allergies | Yahoo Lifestyle

Pollen is an airborne substance that comes from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds. In the past 12 months, 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children under 18 were diagnosed with hay fever, the name given to allergic rhinitis caused by pollen. When someone has hay fever, their immune system identifies pollen as a threat and releases signals that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis .

The amount of pollen in the air depends on the season and the geographic area in which you live. The study reported in PNAS found the most pronounced effects in Texas and the Midwestern United States. However, the Northeast can have a significant spring allergy season as well, Dr. Leeds says. Tree allergies are especially common in New Englandparticularly due to birch and oak. Pollen allergies can also cause a cross-reaction with certain foods in some people symptoms include an itchy or tingling mouth and throat after eating raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

People may also have allergic reactions to grass pollen in the late spring to early summer and weed pollen in the fall. Many people are multi-sensitized, so they are allergic to more than one type of pollen, and they can be symptomatic through all of the warm weather seasons, Dr. Leeds says. Pollen can be carried by the wind, so windy days are the worst.

The Complete Guide To Florida Fall Allergy Season 2020

Most people in Florida look forward to autumn with its pumpkin spice lattes, mild sun and cooler air. But if youre one of the estimated 40 million fall allergy sufferers in the U.S., this time of year can be very unpleasant.

It doesnt have to be that way, though

With the proper precautions and correct allergy treatments, you can enjoy all that autumn has to offer.

While most people often associate allergies with spring and the pollen produced by flowering plants, fall can be the worst season to deal with allergies. As the weather here in Jacksonville cools, plants tend to release more pollen and the moist, cool air leads to increased mold growth on leaves and other surfaces.

Combined, these factors can trigger severe allergic reactions.

How To Monitor The Weather To Manage Allergies And Asthma

If you live with asthma or allergies, managing your triggers to avoid symptom flare-ups is a part of everyday life. Environmental allergens such as pollen and mold are common triggers. You may not realize that changes in the weather can also affect your asthma and allergies.

Temperature changes, humidity changes, thunderstorms, rain and wind can inflame the airways, leading to flare-ups. People with respiratory conditions tend to breathe through the mouth and doing so brings weather-related irritants directly to the lungs. It also doesnt allow your nose to regulate the humidity and air temperature.

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Why Does Anaphylactic Shock Require An Er Visit

Symptoms of an anaphylactic shock worsen quickly and include fast heartbeat, fainting, vomiting, hives, swelling of the face, and swelling of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. If you or someone you know is having symptoms of anaphylactic shock, call 911 immediately.

For someone who has suffered from anaphylaxis in the past, a doctor may prescribe an emergency epinephrine injection. This shot can save a persons life by stopping the allergic reaction.

Once the epinephrine shot has been given, symptoms usually improveor even resolve completely. However, even if symptoms improve, a trip to the emergency room is still mandatory for follow-up care.

While an urgent care clinic can treat minor allergic reactions, like minor food allergies or skin rashes, severe reactions like anaphylaxis require an ER visit.

Back Up: Why Do We Cough Anyway

Fall Allergy Season: What You Need to Know to Cope

Coughing is a natural response to irritation in your throat or airways. To put it simply, receptors in the throat, trachea, and lungs respond and lead to activation of the cough center in the brain, explains Clifford Bassett, M.D., founder and medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.

Coughing is an essential defense mechanism, he says, and its your bodys way of pushing any unwanted stuff out, including pollen, mucus, and pieces of food, to make more room for air to get through.

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How Can I Tell If My Symptoms Are Allergies Or Covid

Before you stress out, know that there’s 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 you’re 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. It’s 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 there’s always the possibility that these are the side effects of allergies.

Overall, though, if you’re having trouble telling if your symptoms are allergies or COVID, your best bet is to check in with a doctor’s office or urgent-care center.

You Don’t Have These Symptoms

Colds and allergies share many of the same symptoms, so it can be tough to tell which one you’re going through. Because they share symptoms — such as coughing and congestion — it’s helpful to consider the symptoms that these two conditions don’t share.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, there’s a good chance you have a cold:

  • Fatigue
  • Severe headache
  • Sore throat

Another way to tell the difference between a cold and allergies is the duration of your symptoms. Colds usually go away on their own in seven to 10 days, whereas allergies persist until they’re treated or until the trigger is gone — which can take months depending on what you are allergic to.

If you know you’re allergic to pollen, you can try an app like Zyrtec AllergyCast to check the pollen counts and see if it’s a good idea to go outside.

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What Are Dust Mites

Dust mites eat skin cells that are shed by people. They thrive in warm, humid environments, such as bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting. While its nearly impossible to kill them, there are things you can do to prevent them.

Preventive measures include using allergen-proof bedcovers, washing your bedding weekly, keeping the humidity low in your home, dusting and vacuuming regularly, eliminating dust-collecting clutter, installing tile or hardwood floors in your home, avoiding bedcovers that easily trap dust and buying stuffed toys that can be washed.

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Pollen Allergies Are Seasonal

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The season for pollen allergies can last for several months and occurs when the plants are flowering. This will vary depending on location and the type of plant. For instance:

  • Non-native trees tend to pollinate in late winter and spring.
  • In Victoria, winds from the north tend to bring pollen from non-native grasses growing inland between October and December.
  • White Cypress pine is the only Australian tree that produces highly allergenic pollen and it flowers between late July and the end of August.
  • Species of casuarina or Australian oak trees produce pollen throughout the year and can cause hay fever symptoms at any time.

The medical specialists who diagnose allergies have online calendars showing when common species of pollen cause allergies in the states and territories of Australia.

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When Does Allergy Season 2021 Start

Well, its technically *always* allergy season due to year-round offenders such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander, says Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But some allergenspollens, specificallyare seasonal.

Tree pollen, for example, pops up in the spring , grass pollen arrives in the late spring , weed pollen is most prevalent in the summer , and ragweed pollen takes over from summer to fall , says Dr. Parikh.

And, as mentioned, climate change means allergy season begins earlier and lasts longer, adds Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, a professor and allergist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Specifically, the season has been arriving 20 days earlier than it did in 1990, and contains at least 20 percent more pollen, the New York Times reported.

To get super-specific, Pollen.com has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in different areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth info on specific allergens, helping you decide if you should stay indoors that day. You should also note that windy, warm, and sunny days can increase levels of pollen turnout, while drizzling or rainy weather is actually associated with no or lower levels of seasonal pollen, explains Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.

What Can Happen If Rhinitis Isn’t Managed Properly

Sometimes rhinitis can be more than just the sniffles. In fact, its been shown that uncontrolled allergic rhinitis can lead to:

  • Increased risk of developing asthma6
  • Poorer asthma control in people with asthma 7
  • Reduced physical, mental and emotional well-being7
  • Reduced sleep quality 8
  • Being constantly tired, and tiring easily, which leads to lowered concentration at work or school and needing more time off, all of which affects job performance or school work6
  • Reduced quality of everyday life, including social life and daily activities6
  • Irritability and social problems in children7

Undertreated allergic rhinitis is a major factor in developing asthma, and it can make asthma worse.9

If your child suffers from allergies and asthma, learn how you can help take control of their asthma.

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Seasonal Allergies Vs Common Cold

A common cold has similar symptoms to seasonal allergies. However, a reaction to a cold is caused by a virus, while a reaction to an allergen is the result of the immune system responding to a substance it has deemed as a threat. Learn more about head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat symptoms here.

Five Ways to Tell Your Seasonal Allergies From a Cold5

Colds can produce a fever, allergies can not.

Colds typically dont cause itchy, watery eyes. Allergies typically do.

Cold symptoms arent likely to last more than two weeks, but many people with seasonal allergies will experience symptoms for six weeks at a time.

Sore throats can accompany colds, but rarely occur with allergies.

Colds can occur during any season, while seasonal allergy symptoms will likely appear at the same time each year.

Five Ways to Tell Your Seasonal Allergies From a Cold5

  • Colds can produce a fever, allergies can not.
  • Colds typically dont cause itchy, watery eyes. Allergies typically do.
  • Cold symptoms arent likely to last more than two weeks, but many people with seasonal allergies will experience symptoms for six weeks at a time.
  • Sore throats can accompany colds, but rarely occur with allergies.
  • Colds can occur during any season, while seasonal allergy symptoms will likely appear at the same time each year.

What Can I Do If My Allergy Meds Aren’t Workingor My Allergies Are Getting Worse

So You Have Seasonal Allergies NowHeres How to Deal

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.

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How Does The Weather Affect Symptoms

  • Humid air is moist and heavy. When the air is stagnant, air quality goes down, making breathing harder for everyone. It can trigger an asthma and allergy flare-up since mold and bacteria grow better in moist environments. Humid weather can worsen allergy symptoms.
  • Hot weather often impacts air quality. Ozone can rise to dangerous levels, irritating your respiratory system. Increased traffic, exhaust, smog and other pollutants can make breathing harder if you have asthma.
  • Cold, dry air may seem better for your breathing than hot, humid air, but unfortunately, breathing it in can make the bronchial tubes constrict and spasm as they try to keep airways open, making symptoms worse.
  • Thunderstorms bring barometric changes, high humidity and winds that blow pollen and mold spores everywhere. This can lead to a phenomenon called thunderstorm asthma. In addition, lightning generates nitrogen oxides that can impact ground-level ozone, irritating the lungs and airways.
  • Changing weather patterns alter barometric pressure, which can trigger sinus problems and make breathing harder if you have asthma.

What Are The Causes

Hay fever occurs when natural allergens enter the body and cause an allergic response.

Some people with hay fever develop sensitivities because of over-exposure or recurrent exposure to an allergen. Many others are born with sensitivities, or have conditions that increase the likelihood of sensitivities developing.

Seasonal hay fever tends to be caused by a different group of allergens from those that cause perennial hay fever, though some people experience both conditions.

Any foreign material can cause an allergic response. While most people are only sensitive to one allergen, others are sensitive to several, and these allergens are usually related.

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What Are Fall Allergy Symptoms

Fall allergy symptoms are not much different than what you would expect at other times of year. Most people refer to their symptoms as hay fever, while doctors refer to it as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Whatever you call it, symptoms include:

  • Itchy, watery, and stinging eyes.
  • Coughing and wheezing, potentially leading to asthma for sufferers.
  • Scratchy throats and excessive saliva
  • Upset stomach
  • Life-threatening asthma attacks in extreme cases.

Socan Allergies Cause Coughing Give It To Me Straight

What you need to know about spring allergies and COVID-19

In short, yes. Usually, allergies create dry coughs . If thats the case, youll likely have other symptoms . Headaches and wheezing often come with allergies, too, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Timings also a factor. If youre allergic to pollen , for example, youll likely notice symptoms almost immediately, or within an hour of being exposed. And those symptoms could last for hours after youve been exposedeven after the allergen isnt nearby anymore.

Coughs related to allergies are also dependent on patterns, so doctors always try to look at the big picture. Say you get a cough every single March. That could be a sign youre actually suffering from allergies, instead of the common cold. You need to look at everything thats going on, says Paul Bryson, MD, an otolaryngologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

Your best defense for a cough from allergies? Antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, which are all available over-the-counter. Other options include steroid nasal sprays and immunotherapy shots, which can work to regulate your bodys response to allergens, instead of just relieving the symptoms.

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Identify When Symptoms Start

So youve decided you probably have seasonal allergies. Great. But also, not great, because while allergies from pollen arent typically serious, they also arent fun.

Some people are like, Oh, its just allergies, but allergies can be debilitating. Quality of life goes down, people miss school and work and theres an economic impact, says Dr. Drew Ayars, an allergist who sees patients at the allergy clinics at UW Medical Center Montlake and UW Medical Center Eastside Specialty Center.

Your first step toward getting relief is figuring out what kind of seasonal allergies you have.

Does your foggy-headed misery set in before the first flowers bloom? Or later in spring when everyone starts mowing their lawns again?

You dont have to be tested to know what youre allergic to. You can correlate symptoms to pollen counts around that time, he explains.

Thats because different types of pollen emerge at different times. In late winter and early spring, the most prevalent pollens are from trees hazelnut, birch, alder, oak, cottonwood, ash and juniper are especially common in the Seattle area, Rampur says. Mid- to late spring is full of grass pollen, and the biggest culprit in late summer to fall is weed pollen.

Once you notice when specifically your allergies flare up, you can put a plan in place for dealing with them .

Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers

If you sneeze and cough during certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. However, occasional allergies arent something you just have to live with.

In many areas of the United States, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall. In tropical climates, however, grass may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.

The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.

Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:

  • Burning bush
  • Sagebrush and mugwort
  • Tumbleweed and Russian thistle

While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:

Find expert care with an Allergist.

An allergist can pinpoint the cause and help you find relief.

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