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When Is Allergy Season In Pa

How Allergy Symptoms Can Seem Similar To Covid

Face masks proving to help those with seasonal allergies during allergy season

If you get allergies every year, watch for symptoms that are different from what youve had before.

According to an article from webmd.com, severe allergies can make you can feel tightness in your chest and shortness of breath, especially if you have asthma.

The article states that these can be serious symptoms of COVID-19. If you arent sure or if you havent been diagnosed with asthma, call your doctor or 911 right away.

It is possible that you can have allergies and a viral infection at the same time. If you have classic allergy signs like itchy eyes and a runny nose along with COVID-19 symptoms like fatigue and a fever, call your doctor, the article states.

A Dose Of Understanding Can Help Minimize Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Spring is here, and so is allergy season for millions of Americans. With a bit of planning, effort and common sense, many people can limit their sufferingor perhaps even avoid it.

St. Lukesdoctors are specially trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating allergies.If you need a doctor to help with an allergy, contact or call .

More Allergy Information in Our Library:

Most Common Allergies In Central Pa

9 Minute Read

Spring in PA represents an awakening after a long, cold winter. The flowers, the butterflies, the fresh air. Its a beautiful time of year unless you suffer from allergies. Suddenly, those signs of spring become signs of impending sneezing, coughing, sore throats and puffy, watery, red eyes. Common spring allergies for PA can wreck havoc in your body. Knowing which allergies to look out for and how to deal with those allergies can help you find the relief you need to look forward to spring.

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Early Allergy Season Is Upon Us

If you have allergies you are probably feeling the effects earlier this year than in past years.

You can blame mother nature on that one.

Flowers are starting to bloom and trees are slowly starting to bud.

It’s a beautiful sight, but not for everyone.

“I’m allergic to everything. Grass, trees, flowers, all the beautiful stuff I enjoy,” said Latsamy Vongvafeith of Stroudsburg.

She is one of a large number of patients seen by Dr. Rajesh Bhagat, an allergist in East Stroudsburg.

Dr. Baghat said right now he is seeing more people compared to last year.

“The allergy season has begun early this year in comparison to other years because we had relatively warmer winter and we really don’t have any snow cover on the ground,” said Dr. Bhagat.

He said the snow would trap and freeze the pollen on the ground, giving allergy sufferers relief.

With these warmer temperatures comes early signs of spring and early warning signals for allergy sufferers.

“Drippy nose, my sinus, headaches,” said Vongvafeith.

“The tree pollens are a major problem and they have begun pollinating early this year. Therefore the season has been two to three weeks early,” said Dr. Bhagat.

He added if you’re having allergy symptoms, you should start with over the counter medications.

If those don’t work he said you should go to your doctor and perhaps may need to see an allergist. That’s exactly what Vongvafeith had to do to get a stronger dose of medicine, in the form of allergy shots.

– Keep windows closed at night.

Allergy Season : Why Your Symptoms Are Worse Than Ever

As pollen storm video goes viral, allergy sufferers endure ...

Many people with seasonal allergies are struggling right now, trapped in a vicious cycle of coughing, sneezing, wheezing and itching.

If this sounds like you, you might be wondering whats going on. Is this allergy season particularly brutal, or do your symptoms just seem worse because you were inside and not exposed to many allergens in spring 2020? Or is it all in your head?

According to allergists, its not just you. Its true your allergies may feel worse this year. Heres the deal and how to find some relief:

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Mold Spores More Problems

Besides pollen, patients may also become sensitized to airborne mold spores.Molds are much more numerous in ambient air than pollens, Dr. Lang notes, and there are molds that are present in high amounts in damp, rainy conditions. More importantly, though, warmer weather can be a particularly bad time for mold.

There are molds that peak on days of maximum heat and humidity. So later in the summer, particularly from mid-July to early-September, is when the mold count gets very high, he says.

This can make a bad combination for many people who are allergic to both one or more pollens and molds. Thats a common pattern, Dr. Lang says, that people will have these symptoms year-round and have a peak of symptoms in the spring and summer.

Many of the patients Dr. Lang sees, he says, are polysensitized, or allergic to multiple allergens. Sometimes well see people with classic symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis that occur seasonally such as mid August through the frost, and we know its likely from ragweed.

But, more frequently, we see people with year-round symptoms and there are peaks in the warmer times of the year. But then we may find on skin testing theyre sensitized to pollens and molds, as well as dust mites and cat or dog dander.

How Can You Limit Your Exposure To Ragweed Pollen

  • Track pollen counts in your area and stay inside when theyre high.
  • Avoid going outside during peak hours, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Keep your windows closed.
  • If you have central air conditioning, use a HEPA filter.
  • Change clothes and wash your skin after youve been outside.
  • Dont dry laundry outside.

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Your Symptoms Only Show Up At Certain Times

If you have seasonal allergies, your symptoms should arise and go away around the same time each year. For most people, seasonal allergy symptoms begin in the spring and end in the fall. However, depending on your allergy triggers, you may experience allergic rhinitis in any of the four seasons. Here’s a rundown of plants that commonly cause seasonal allergies:

Spring: Tree pollen, particularly that from oak, elm, birch, cedar, willow, poplar, horse chestnut and alder trees.

Summer:Grasses, such as ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Timothy grass, Bermuda grass and more.

Fall:Pollen from weeds is the main concern in the fall months. Many people are allergic to the pollen in ragweed, tumbleweed, pigweed, sagebrush, Russian thistle and more.

Winter: Most people find that their allergies go dormant during the winter months because most plants don’t pollinate during winter. If you still get watery eyes and a runny nose during cold weather, you might be allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust mites, mold or pet dander.

Finding The Right Allergy Medication

Allergy Season Is Here And Hitting Much Of The Country Hard | NBC Nightly News

A physician can help you select the best medication for your situation and educate you on using the medication properly. For those times when you need immediate relief but cant get to your primary care doctor, urgent care can walk you through some options and help you choose the best allergy medication for your situation.

The following medication options may be recommended, depending on the situation:

If you experience severe difficulty in breathing, head straight to the emergency room for immediate treatment. Urgent care is best suited to your non-severe, non-life-threatening allergies.

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When To Seek Medical Help For Allergies

If you’ve tried everything to keep your allergies under control but you cant find relief from your symptoms, speak to your doctor.

While symptoms such as a runny nose or sneezing are not dangerous, if they become severe enough that you find it difficult to breathe, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

What Is The Difference Between An Allergy And A Cold

Since allergies may cause mild, cold-like symptoms, understanding the differences between seasonal allergies and the common cold can help you identify the most appropriate treatment for your symptoms:

  • Causes: Unlike allergies, the common cold is caused by a virus. Allergy symptoms are the result of the immune system’s reaction to allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, etc.
  • Symptoms: Fever, aches, and pain are common symptoms of colds that aren’t usually related to allergies.
  • Symptom duration: A cold usually lasts no more than 10 days, while allergies may last for months.
  • Asthma: Asthma and allergies are frequently co-occurring illnesses, and many people with allergies also have asthma.

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You’ve Got All The Typical Symptoms

If you think of sneezing, wheezing and watery eyes when you think of seasonal allergies, you’d be on the right track. There’s a good chance you have seasonal allergies if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent sneezing
  • Itchy throat
  • Puffy eyelids

Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. If you have winter allergies, you’re probably allergic to an indoor allergen like dust mites.

When Will Allergy Season Peak In 2021 An Allergy Forecast

How the Top 100 U.S. Cities Rank for Seasonal Pollen Allergies

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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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.

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.

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The Dangers Of Allergic Asthma And Anaphylaxis

Some people also experience allergic asthma. The asthma condition is triggered by the allergens, which cause a restriction in airflow. The histamines released during the allergic reaction cause inflammation and tightness in the bronchial tube wall muscle lining, making it more difficult to breathe. Mucus in the airways further inhibits your ability to breathe well.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe type of allergic reaction. This reaction can cause issues throughout the body, not just the lungs. The symptoms may include the inability to breathe, loss of consciousness, shock and other issues. The most common causes of anaphylaxis are foods, drugs, latex and bee or wasp stings.

I Think I Have An Allergy But I’m Not Sure

Warmer summers in South Central Pa. means longer allergy and mosquito seasons | Climate Smart

Generally, if you experience any combination of the typical symptoms — watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, etc. — you can safely conclude that you’re allergic to something.

If you don’t know what that something is and you want to find out, your primary care doctor can refer you to an allergist. Allergists conduct skin or blood tests to determine what substances you’re allergic to.

The thing is, most people exhibit the same symptoms regardless of the allergen, because allergic rhinitis is a condition with symptoms independent of triggers. So if your allergies aren’t severe, then you’re probably OK to take an over-the-counter allergy pill and not worry about it. If your allergies are severe, though, you might benefit from an allergy test so you can actively avoid your triggers.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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What Are Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are allergy symptoms that only occur at certain times of the year, usually when allergens like mold spores and different types of pollen from trees, grasses or weeds are released into the air.i

If you are allergic to mold spores or pollen just as with other allergies such as dust or pet allergies your immune system cells will treat these allergens as a threat, and react by releasing substances such as histamine into your bloodstream to help combat them.i This release of histamine can cause common allergy symptoms such as:ii

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy mouth or skin
  • Fatigue

You can develop seasonal allergies at almost any age, however they usually develop by around the age of 10 and peak around your early 20s. Symptoms can also often disappear later in life.i

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.

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Allergy Forecast: A Bad Year For Everyone

Like taxes, allergy season is one of those things you just cant avoid. In fact, due to climate change, it may be getting worse. Warmer temperatures lead to more pollen production, so 2021 may be the most intense allergy season yet. And due to COVID-19 quarantine, children may especially have a rough year.

When is allergy season?

It starts in the spring and continues until the fall, but different allergens, the substances that trigger allergies, appear at different times.

: As spring begins, tree pollen is the top allergen, followed by weeds and grasses. In some parts of Maryland, its not unusual to see cars covered by the itchy stuff.

May to July: In May, all the trees, grass and weeds gang up to pump out allergens, making it a bad time for allergy sufferers. This is the start of peak allergy season, which continues until July.

: Enter ragweed, a common flowering plant. Ragweed is the leading cause of seasonal allergies, with 75% of all sufferers allergic to it.

With temperatures falling and plants starting to go dormant, the air starts to clear, bringing an end to outdoor allergy season. Now its possible to breathe a sigh of relief without coughing.

See the Interactive Allergy Forecaster for allergy conditions where you live.

COVID-19 and childrens allergies

Surviving allergy season

If your or your childs allergy symptoms are severe or continue a long time, your health care provider may be able to help or refer you to an allergist.

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