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 youve 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.
How Long Does Pollen Season Last
As winter melts away into spring, the days become longer and sunnier. Trees, plants, and shrubs that have spent all winter bereft of leaves are using the newfound head and stored energy to grow and change. It is around this time in the Northern Hemisphere, around March or April, to be precise, that the pollen season officially starts. In most temperate areas, this season lasts up to seven months.
According to the Cleveland Clinic and the expertise of allergist-immunologist David M. Lang, MD, pollen seasons come in different stages. For instance, tree pollen generally begins in March or April, while grass pollen arises in the middle of May, and ragweed shows up from August on.
Check Your Daily Allergy Forecast
Numerous sites across the internet offer weekly or even daily allergy forecasts. An allergy tracker from pollen.com gives you a glimpse of the current allergy forecast according to city and metropolitan area.
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Pollen Season Has Arrived And Is Ramping Up Across Western New York
BUFFALO, N.Y. While the first tree pollen counts appeared in mid-March, it wasn’t until later in the month and early April when they started really ramping up to more significant levels across Western New York.
Western New York’s pollen season typically begins sometime between mid-late March with the first pollen counts showing up after a few consecutively dry and warmer days. Last year’s pollen season began a little earlier because of a mid-March dry and warm spell.
And while there were also some warmer days in mid-March that allowed for the first blooms, the turbulent ups and downs of the seasonal springs swings this year kept pollen counts, for the most part, at bay last month. That is, until the last day of March and the first few of April when temperatures started to go up. No matter when those pollen counts go up, pollen season always begins with tree pollen.
Tree pollen is what dominates the early pollen season. So if you’re sensitive to those allergens, especially Maple, Elm, Poplar, or Juniper pollen, then you may begin to feel it over the next few days.
Pollen season then transitions to grass pollen in May, weed pollen in June/July, and Ragweed by late August. Though Ragweed isn’t prevalent in Western New York, the entire pollen season can last from mid-March to mid-late September locally.
Talk To Your Doctor About Allergy Medications
Like any drug, allergy meds can interact with others youre on or cause side effects, including drowsiness, prostate problems, brain fog and heart issues, in certain underlying conditions, Parikh says. So, while there are a lot of good options available OTC, that doesnt mean theyre automatically safe for you. All these meds are not necessarily benign. I would not wing it, Dvorin says. Chat with your doc first.
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When Should You Start Taking Your Allergy Meds
As a general rule, allergy treatment should begin at least a couple of weeks before the start of allergy season, to help you stay ahead of the itching, sneezing, drippy nose, and wheezing. “The majority of hay fever medications work best if started before a pollen season begins,”Luz Fonacier, MD, Head of Allergy at NYU Langone HospitalLong Island and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology , tells Health.
If you use nasal antihistamines, steroids, oral antihistamines, or eye drops for seasonal allergies, Dr. Fonacier advises against waiting until your symptoms are unbearable to start treatment. And don’t stop taking them too early, either. “The misery can linger until the end of the season, so wait a few weeks before stopping treatment,” she says.
Give Your Sinuses A Bath
For a medication-free option, consider nasal irrigation. The practice traces back thousands of years to the Ayurvedic medical traditions of India and its effectiveness is backed by research. To try it yourself, use a neti pot, bulb syringe or squeeze bottle and pour a saline solution in one nostril, letting it drain out the other.
It seems like a simple concept, but it helps flush out mucus, pollen and other allergens in your nasal cavity, said Dr. Laura Chong, an allergist at the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic in Oklahoma City.
The result is that you feel less congested and you may need less allergy medication, Dr. Chong said.
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Nyc Now Has A Longer Allergy Season But Not For Everyone
NEW YORK CITY â It may be no surprise to hear that the allergy season is beginning earlier in the spring and lasting longer into the fall. But not all allergies are created equal and new pollens are potentially being introduced around the city.
What You Need To Know
- The growing season in NYC is starting earlier and ending later
- Pollens are present for longer periods of the year
- Tree pollens are impacting people earlier and grass pollens are lasting longer into the fall
- Our changing climate could mean new plants and potentially new types of pollen
In the summer of 2020, the citys climate classification was changed from continental subtropical to humid subtropical as noted in the National Climate Assessment. The change was made because of warmer average temperatures throughout the year, both during the day and at night.
With this new classification, its assumed that new species of plants can now grow in the city. It also means that plants are actively growing for a longer portion of the year.
This past March, we had several days with temperatures warmer than 50 degrees and even one 70-degree day. A warmup like this kicks off the growing season and therefore the sneezing season .
Pollen counts were already medium to high in mid-March. The earlier growing season and a long period of dry weather contributed to the higher-than-normal pollen counts for so early in the season.
How To Manage Seasonal Allergies At Home
There are many over-the-counter medications you can use to treat your seasonal allergies at home. The most effective options on the market right now are nasal corticosteroid sprays, Azar said. These medications work by gradually reducing the body’s inflammatory response to allergens.
Remember that steroid nasal sprays take a while to produce their maximum effect. So you should ideally start using them before your symptoms appear. “We remind people think about Valentine’s Day as the time to consider restarting your seasonal allergy meds,” Blair said.
Even if you missed that deadline, those sprays are still, “in general, the most effective way to treat nasal allergy symptoms,” Blair added. “But a head start could help a lot.”
Starting early helps avoid another potential problem: clogged nasal passages. “Oftentimes, people will start medications like a nose spray, but by the time , they’re really congested and swollen,” Blair said. “All the tissue within the nose is pretty blocked, and it’s hard to get the sprays to where they need to go.”
Other options include oral antihistamines, such as fexofenadine , loratadine , cetirizine and levocetirizine , as well as antihistamine eye drops and nasal sprays. Depending on which allergy symptoms you experience most, it may make sense to take more than one of those medications, like using a nasal spray or eye drops, as well as taking an oral antihistamine.
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Allergy Season Is Here But Will The Early Blooming Make Allergies Worse
Its that time of year when more sun shines, the air gets warmer, and the trees and grass green up and come out of dormancy. While most are excited about this time of year, some are dreading what comes along with it, namely allergies.
This spring some things are blooming a little quicker than normal due to the early warmth, abundant sunshine and the somewhat damper pattern we are settling into.
I asked Dr. Juan Sotomayor, an allergist, if he thinks with some earlier budding will make allergies worse this year? He says, as an allergist Ive been doing this for 30 years. Ive seen all types of weather conditions and its affects it a little bit maybe for a little earlier pollination a little later. It doesnt really change it much it changes a little bit.
Right now, as you can see on the pollen chart, it is mainly tree pollen that is the issue but come may is when Central New Yorks most prevalent pollen, grass, becomes more of an issue and it last right through much of the summer!
Those fluffy pieces of cotton floating in the air called cottonwood which almost looks like snow will return in late May and June.
Ragweed pollen comes about during the late summer and first part of the fall.
Questiondo you think the yellowish pollen we see on our vehicles in the spring and early summer is the main cause of our allergies?
Seasonal Allergies In New York
Seasonal allergies like hay fever or allergic rhinitis are common
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Here Is What You Need To Survive This Allergy Season
Its finally allergy season and the pollen count in New York City is increasing each day. Are you feeling symptoms of hay fever when you step outside? Hayfever symptoms may include:
- Itchy nose, mouth, eyes, throat, and skin
- Runny nose
- Clogged ears and decreased sense of smell
- Sore throat
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Puffiness under the eyes
- Fatigue and irritability
- Headache or migraine
Then you may have seasonal allergies. Tree and grass pollen are the main culprits for these symptoms. Research shows that plants are pollinating longer, so allergy season may be extended this year.
At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, we offer a variety of treatment options to get you feeling better fast. Here is what you need to survive this allergy season.
Why This Allergy Season May Feel Worse Than Usual
Anyone with allergies can tell you, pollen production is in overdrive this year and experts say this may be the norm going forward.
NEW YORK – If you’re suffering from severe allergies this season, you’re not alone.
A recent study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that over the last 20 years, the pollen season has lengthened by an average of 20 days annually, while the concentration of pollen in North America has increased by 21% over the same time period.
“With climate change, the growing seasons are much longer and so the spring pollen season starts much earlier and it’s more intense,” said Kenneth Mendez, the president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
But wait, there’s more. The study also found the pollen in the air may also be more potent, making it more allergenic.
“The additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually juices it, makes it more conducive for trees and other plants to grow and have more intense releases of pollen,” Mendez said.
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Ways to mitigate symptoms include avoiding high-release periods, which are late in the day or early in the morning, and keep your windows closed, according to Mendez.
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When Home Remedies Arent Enough See Your Doctor
For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is enough to relieve symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies still bother you, dont give up. A number of other procedures are available.
If you have severe seasonal allergies, your doctor may recommend that you have skin tests or blood tests to determine exactly which allergens are causing your symptoms. Testing can help determine what steps to take to avoid specific triggers and determine which treatments are likely to work best for you.
For some people, allergy shots may be a good option. This treatment, also known as desensitization, involves regular injections containing small amounts of substances that make you allergic. Over time, these injections decrease the immune response that causes symptoms. For some allergies, treatment can be given as a pill under the tongue.
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Get Seasonal Allergy Relief No Matter Where You Live
In the spring, the warm weather brings 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 trigger symptoms just as kids are returning to school.
Take these actions to reduce your contact with pollen:
- Check pollen counts or forecasts daily and plan outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are expected to be lower.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season or peak pollen times.
- Use central air conditioning or air cleaners with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter and/or HEPA filtration to reduce indoor airborne allergens .
- Wear sunglasses, a mask, and a hat or other hair covering when outdoors.
- Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed .
- Change and wash clothes after outdoor activities.
- Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
- Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. Wipe pets off with a towel before they enter your home.
- Remove your shoes before entering your home.
- Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
When cleaning inside your home, be aware that you may stir up pollen that has collected on surfaces. CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®vacuums and dusting cloths help trap and contain allergens such as pollen.
There are also over-the-counter and prescription allergy treatments available to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:
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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.
Preparing For Allergy Season 2021
During a pandemic, the last thing you want to worry about is sneezing and coughing. Allergy symptoms such as watery eyes and stuffy nose, along with sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and hives worsen during spring and summer. This period, known as allergy season, usually begins in early March. Although this may seem far away, its important to start preparing for allergy season early. Preparing now can help ease your symptoms throughout the season.
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