Are your allergies getting worse?
Most people can tell spring has finally arrived because of warmer temperatures, more sunshine and birds chirping.
If you have seasonal allergies, you know that spring has arrived because your allergies have taken up residence and brought with them itchy eyes, a runny nose and sore throat.
And if you’ve thought your allergies are more severe the last few years, have arrived sooner and stuck around longer, you probably aren’t wrong.
“Allergy season has always peaked in the spring, and a second time in the fall,” says Dr. Mark Hermanoff, an allergist with Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wis. “With the warmer climate, peak allergy seasons have been starting sooner and lasting longer.”
Not only that, but more people are developing seasonal allergies, he says.
“The number of people affected by allergies has been increasing,” Dr. Hermanoff says. He says that increase includes people dealing with pet and food allergies.
The triggers and severity of seasonal allergy symptoms are different for each person, but the change in weather patterns in recent years has played a role in when they start and how long they last.
“Our weather patterns have changed in the last several decades,” Dr. Hermanoff says. “Pollen seasons are more intense, and the winter frost is occurring later. Our lifestyles have also changed. Now we spend less of our early lives exposed to outdoor activities like farming or gardening, which may play some role in increasing the number of people who are affected by allergies.”
Dr. Hermanoff offers some tips to help people suffering from seasonal allergies:
- Limit outdoor exposure during peak allergy season, especially early in the morning.
- Shower and change clothes to remove pollen from clothing and hair after outdoor activity.
- Avoid dead and dying grass, mulch and vegetation where outdoor molds grow.
- Keep windows closed and run air conditioning to limit levels of outdoor pollen in the home.
If simple measures like avoidance and antihistamines fail to control your symptoms, it can be time to seek professional guidance. If you have asthma or are developing recurrent sinus infections, it can be especially important to talk to your doctor about symptom management.
“An allergy evaluation can help identify what triggers are setting off symptoms and look for complications like asthma and sinus infections,” Dr. Hermanoff says. “Allergy symptoms can be severe and make life miserable for those who suffer,” he says. “Just when the weather in the upper Midwest is getting nice, people with allergies have difficulty being outside. Treatment can make a difference.”
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About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.
I’m really suffering from allergies this year , I’m allergic to Cats & where I live there’s at least 7-10 Stray Cats all around my home – doing there personal business and the smell of them is terrible, I swell up , throat get sore and I barely can sit outside : I’m on Montelukast meds which doesn’t help to well but I still take it @ night :
Beverly, try sprinkling red cayenne pepper where the cats congregate. It is a humane deterrent and reasonably cheap bought in larger bulk sizes. The hot dust causes no harm to your vegetation or grounds and, because they sniff areas to mark territory, gets in critters nostrils and paws causing an irritation without being poisonous. Cats, and other critters, will quickly learn to stay away from the treated areas. If sprinkled in areas affected by rain, retreat after the area has dried of excessive rain water.
I am having year long allergies. And they morph from allergies to colds to bronchitis and back to allergies. I went to an allergist, I’ve talked to my internist. Nothing that can be done. There’s no magic shot. And I’m spending a helluva lot of money of boxed tissues, OTC allergy pills and sprays. Never been this bad in my life.
Beverly talk to a vet. I think there’s a cat repellant you can buy.