In what cities are pollen, mold, allergy medications, and certified allergists most prevalent?
Fall is prime allergy season in the Ohio Valley
Some natives of Louisville, Ky., needn’t be surprised if they’re sneezing while reading this article. Their city tops the list this year as the worst place to live in the U.S. for fall allergies. To earn the No. 1 spot, Louisville received a “worse than average” rating for its pollen counts and allergy medication use by each patient. But it got a “better than average” rating for the number of allergy specialists available in the area.
The rankings are based on an analysis of three key factors: pollen and mold scores during fall 2011, the number of allergy medications used by people with allergies last fall, and the number of board-certified allergists per 10,000 patients.
The allergic potential of pollens is greater than we could have imagined.
There are pollens — and there are pollens, as scientists from across Europe discovered while investigating the allergic potential of pollens from the three main triggers of hay fever in Europe: birch, grass and olive. Different people can have very different allergic reactions to a particular type of pollen, however, and as the Hialine study researchers have now found, the allergenicity of the pollens also varies. Depending on the time of year and region, the pollens produce different quantities of protein compounds. These are ultimately responsible for the allergic immune reaction.
Up until now, the only way to ascertain how seriously patients will be affected is by measuring the airborne pollen concentration. However, this method gives very little indication of how aggressive the pollens are. Read more about the intensity of certain pollens.
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.
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).