Tips For Minimizing Symptoms
The best way to avoid the impacts of allergies is to keep pollen at bay as much as possible. Keep doors and windows closed, and run the air conditioner for temperature control. After spending time outside, change out of your clothes and take a shower.
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Climate Change And The Pandemic Are Playing A Huge Role
Year over year, were finding climate change is a major factor in worsening symptoms for spring and fall pollen seasons, said Kenneth Mendez, the CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The rising temps and increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are making pollen seasons heavier and longer. Allergy season is now 10 days longer than it was in 1990, and trees, grass and weeds are producing 21% more pollen. More pollen means more runny noses, watery eyes and itchy throats.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in pollen counts on a yearly basis, and this is due to global warming and an increase in CO2, which we know plays a role in higher pollen counts, said Payel Gupta, an allergist and immunologist and medical director of the at-home allergy clinic Cleared.
The recent warm weather were seeing this year and in the past few years is to blame. Plants bloom in warm weather, then tree, grass and weed pollen pick up and fly into the air around us.
In the past, warm weather didnt appear until April or so, delaying pollen-producing plants from blooming. But its been getting warmer earlier year after year. Some areas in the Northeast saw 70-degree days as early as January this year. On top of that, the first freeze we typically see each fall is happening later in the year. Mendez said this keeps flowering pants like ragweed a major source of allergies alive and well.
Avoid Otc Allergy Medication
Over-the-counter decongestants are stimulants. They can increase heart rate and raise blood pressure, which is especially harmful for people with heart disease or high blood pressure. Antihistamines may be a better option. However, its always best to check with your doctor before taking an over-the-counter medication.
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Report: These Pa Cities Rank Among The Worst For Allergy Sufferers
By: Cassie Miller– April 5, 2021 7:25 am
For those with seasonal allergies, this time of year can be difficult to deal with, and depending on where you are in the country, it could be especially difficult this year.
A 2021 studyAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that many metropolitan areas are expected to have a worse than average year for seasonal allergies. Many of those metropolitan areas are in the northeast, with five located in Pennsylvania.
The AAFA ranked major metropolitan areas across the country using a variety of factors, sorting them by three categories worse than average, average, better than average.
Heres what they found:
Scranton, Pa. topped the list at number one for most challenging places to live with allergies overall. Scranton fell in the worse than average category.
Pittsburgh also joined Scranton at the top of the list coming in at number five.
Also in the worse than average category was Allentown, Pa. at 25th most challenging place to live with allergies overall.
The states largest city, Philadelphia, landed at 28th, in the average category.
Coming in below the national average score of 64.43, Harrisburg, Pa. ranked 78th , earning it a better than average rating.
The top ten metropolitan areas for spring allergies are:
- Richmond, Va.
- Las Vegas, Nev.
- Springfield, Mass.
The top ten metropolitan areas for fall allergies are:
- Scranton, Pa.
- New Haven, Conn.
- Albany, N.Y.
Common Allergies By Season And How To Treat Them
Learn which pollens are most common in Pennsylvania throughout the year and how to minimize allergic reactions.
Fashion isnt the only thing that changes by the season. Learn which allergies have a habit of striking during certain timesand the best tricks to avoid an allergic reaction.
Ragweed-fueled allergies typically begin in September and last through the season. Levels of ragweed pollen are generally highest in the morning, and the allergen tends to thrive during cool nights and warm, windy days. While pollen is washed away by rain, pollen counts tend to soar after a rainfall. Take note of the weather and consult your health care provider about taking an antihistamine medication.
Christmas trees bring holiday cheerbut they can contain microscopic mold spores in their branches, and that can cause major wheezing and sneezing. Shake trees well to get rid of these allergens before you carry them into your home.
Thanks to winters bare trees, theres less pollen floating around organicallybut using indoor heating can instigate dust, which can be a major allergy trigger.
To reduce dust exposure, keep your humidity below 55 percent, vacuum your home frequently, and use dust-mite-proof covers on pillows and mattresses. Regularly clean home air filters, as well as bookshelves, vents, and other common collecting places for dust.
During spring and summer, grass and tree pollens are highest in the evening. To avoid an allergic reaction:
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Delaware Valleys Only Certified Pollen/mold Counting Station
The National Allergy Bureau is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology that oversees and certifies pollen/pollen counting stations across the US. The Asthma Center operates the only certified pollen/mold stations in the Delaware Valley, with one location in Philadelphia and the other in South Jersey-Mount Laurel, NJ.
The Asthma Center is the Delaware Valleys Official Pollen Count Station.
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.
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Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations
He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation.
Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying.
Fall Allergies In Pennsylvania
Most people associate allergies with spring, but ask any allergy doctor, and youll find out that fall is also peak allergy season. In Pennsylvania, fall allergies can be particularly bad, leaving many people miserable and in search of health from an allergist. If you suffer from fall allergies, the good news is that your allergy doctor can help you control your symptoms so you can enjoy the season. Here is what you need to know about fall allergies.
Why do allergies occur in the fall?
There are several reasons there is a second peak allergy symptom in the fall. One is that temperature fluctuate in the fall, and when the air warms up, allergies tend to get worse. Another reason is that many people have increased exposure to allergens because of outdoor activities that they do, particularly raking leaves, which can stir up pollen and other allergy triggers. For young people with allergies and asthma, fall is particularly difficult because they return to school and are exposed to a new set of classroom irritants. All of these factors come together to create a higher risk of allergies than people are used to seeing during the summer months or that they encounter during winter.
Why are allergies bad in Pennsylvania?
Can I prevent allergies?
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Whats Causing Your Symptoms
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But during an allergic reaction, your immune system mistakes harmless substances such as pollen as a dangerous intruder and overreacts. In order to fight off the intruder, the immune system tells your cells to release histamine. Histamine increases your mucus production and causes inflammation.
Substances that trigger this type of reaction are known as allergens. The most common allergens in Pennsylvania include:
- Black ash.
- Winter bent.
How Is It Diagnosed
If you think you are allergic to ragweed pollen, see a board-certified allergist. They will ask you about your medical history, do a physical exam and allergy testing. They may do a skin prick test to confirm your allergy.
For prick/scratch testing, the doctor or nurse places a small drop containing ragweed pollen on your skin. They will then lightly prick or scratch your skin with a needle through the drop. If you are sensitive to ragweed, you will develop redness, swelling and itching at the test site within 15 minutes. Sometimes your doctor may take a blood test to see if you have the antibody to ragweed.
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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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How Do I Find Out The Pollen Count In My Area
The website Pollen.com offers a pollen map daily for users. On the same site, they can type in their zip code to see the top allergens in the area as well as the pollen count. The Weather Channel also offers counts of pollen, breaking it down by pollen type and offering a rating for breathing comfort rating as well.
How Mechanical Ventilation Works
Mechanical ventilation works by pulling in freshly filtered air from the outside while moving stagnant indoor air out. It filters the outdoor air, balances its humidity, and dilutes indoor air of other contaminants like dust, seasonal allergies, mold, volatile organic compounds, and odor. These contaminants can leave you and your family feeling ill and fatigued, and contribute to sleep issues.
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Prestigious Organizations Recommend Ventilation And Vaccinations
Several engineers and health scientists make the case for ventilation and air filtration in this Scientific American article.
According to a recent Nature article, bringing up ventilation levels to the recommended amount had the same mitigating effect as a vaccination coverage of 50% to 60%.
Ventilation and vaccinations are also recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionto reduce the risk factor of airborne viruses.
Allergy Season : Why Your Symptoms Are Worse Than Ever
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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Most Common Pa Allergies
After a long, cold, dead winter, theres nothing more beautiful than the sight of flowers and trees blooming along Interstate 95 to signify the onset of spring. But with these beautiful sights comes an unpleasant side effect: spring allergies. Below we provide an overview of common culprits of seasonal allergy symptoms, what other allergens you have to look forward to later in the year and how to find relief.
Can You Develop Seasonal Allergies As An Adult
You can develop seasonal allergies at any time in your life, including adulthood. You can even become allergic to something youve never been allergic to before.
Its not always clear why some adults develop new allergies. Some reasons for adult-onset seasonal allergies could be:
- Reduced immune function. If youre sick, pregnant, or immunocompromised, you might be more susceptible to allergens.
- Moving to a new area of the country. You might be around trees or other plants you havent encountered before.
- Having greater exposure to allergens. A small amount of pollen may not bother you. But concentrated exposure could trigger an allergic reaction.
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How Did Aprilaire And The American Lung Association Come To Work Together In The First Place What Does That Relationship Look Like Presently
Aprilaire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.
Since 2020, Aprilaire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4 residential air filters. Additionally, Aprilaire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Associations Stand Up For Clean Air campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStoryknowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved onesthey are more willing to act. Aprilaire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade and nine Aprilaire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, Aprilaires parent company, to the Lung Associations Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.