Sneezing isn’t the only concern, with ticks and mosquitoes already active.
While unseasonably warm weather delights many people, those with allergies may not be as thrilled with the early arrival of spring. Arriving along with those beautiful blooms is plenty of pollen that has hay-fever sufferers sneezing at least a few weeks sooner than normal. And, in some areas, not only is the season starting early, but the pollen counts are breaking records. Several days ago, Atlanta’s pollen count reading was 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter, which is 55 percent higher than the old record high set in 1999. Normally, anything above 1,500 is considered high in the Atlanta area, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI).
And, humans aren’t the only ones enjoying the warmer weather. Ticks and mosquitoes that are normally dormant at this time of the year are already active, according to Richard Ostfeld, a senior scientist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.
Click to read more about how weather effects allergies.
Expect this allergy season to be one of the worst. Here are 8 unconventional coping strategies:
Spring has sprung—but it’s not all cherry blossoms and tulips. Thanks to an unusually mild winter, allergy season has blown in ahead of schedule, and is expected to last up to a month longer than usual. It’s also going to spell extra-itchy eyes and stuffy noses for sufferers. “People who [have] allergies are going to be in worse shape than usual,” says Joseph Leija, an allergist at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill. “Even people who don’t usually have problems are already sneezing.”
Here’s a spring allergy survival guide, with eight unconventional strategies to get you through it:
1. Don’t stop to smell the flowers. Yes, they’re pretty, but sniffing a daffodil or tulip could aggravate your symptoms. Fragrances and pollen from star jasmine, narcissus, gardenia, and lily of the valley are most likely to make you sneeze.
Where are the worst places to live for allergies?
The third time is said to be the charm. But it’s doubtful the allergy sufferers in Knoxville find it charming that for a third consecutive year their East Tennessee city has earned the No. 1 spot on the list of the worst places to live with spring allergies.
Several factors are considered when ranking each of the 100 largest metro areas, including pollen scores, number of allergy medicines used per patient, and the number of board-certified allergists per patient.
To top the list, Knoxville had “worse than average” pollen counts as well as utilization rates for allergy medications. But it received an “average” score on its number of allergy specialists available to treat patients with allergy-related symptoms, from runny noses and frequent sneezing to watery eyes and sinus congestion.
What causes allergies is a question that may frequently occur to those of us who have allergies and who often have their activities and life constrained by those allergies. An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. To put it simply, the body overreacts to harmless substances, perceiving them to be harmful.
Many kinds of foods, dust, pollen, medications, dander from pets and other animals and insect bites are usually not inimical to the body. But those who have an allergy to any of these substances are unable to tolerate these ‘allergens’ and produce reactions that could range from the mild to the severe. The body mistakenly produces the reaction that it would normally have to harmful bacteria and viruses.
What causes allergies may differ from person to person – the triggers, allergens, the kind of allergic reactions and their severity and so on. Also allergies can show a predictable pattern at times. For instance it a person is allergic to peanuts, there is a higher likelihood that they may be allergic to other nuts as well.
Did you know there are foods you can eat to help fight allergies?
Thanks to climate change, every allergy season is the worst allergy season ever. Warmer temperatures have led to earlier springs and longer allergy seasons, while higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have led to more potent and allergenic pollen.
This year is no different. A mild winter—the fourth-warmest on record—means that trees have started budding and releasing pollen earlier. While that certainly bodes well for birds and cherry-blossom festivals, it could leave you feeling miserable if you suffer from spring allergies. The good news is that natural allergy relief is within an arm’s reach of your refrigerator: Foods rich in vitamin C and folic acid help reduce the inflammation associated with allergic reactions, and studies are finding that some herbs are just as effective as expensive drugs.
Grab your grocery cart and stock your produce bin with these 10 foods that are natural allergy remedies:
This precious piece of produce serves two purposes in annihilating your allergy symptoms. It’s high in allergy-relieving vitamin C and it’s a member of the crucifer family, plants that have been shown to clear out blocked-up sinuses. Researchers have found about 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.
Allergy season is upon us! Do you know how to treat your allergies? Global warming means bad news for allergy sufferers, but here’s how to find relief:
Shoveling buckets of snow while sweat freezes to you probably isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Which means this mild winter may have warm weather lovers feeling positively chipper. But there’s a catch: The mild temperatures come with an earlier allergy season—one that promises to be a doozy for the country’s 35 million seasonal allergy sufferers.
While it’s not really shocking that the growing global trend of earlier spring means earlier allergies, what is surprising is that symptoms are getting more intense. What can you do?
Allergy-Proof Your Yard
“Blame it on what we call the priming effect,” says Dr. Fineman. Here’s how it works: An unseasonable warm front means that an allergic person is exposed to pollen and will have an initial reaction (achoo!). Then the temperature drops along with the pollen counts for a week or two (phew). But then the weather warms again, releasing more pollen, and the allergy sufferer—who’s already been primed the first time around—will have an even worse reaction (ugh).