It’s deja vu all over again as you turn on the evening news and hear, “It’s the worst pollen season ever!”
You think, “Haven’t I heard this before?”
“Unfortunately, it’s true that the amount of pollen in the air during spring allergy season is consistently getting higher with time,” says Colorado ENT & Allergy allergist Dr. Jill Hanson. “Interestingly, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warmer weather from climate change has caused plants to produce more pollen. Which is really terrible news for those suffering from pollen allergy!”
Must another “worst pollen season ever” leave you helpless in the face of increased allergy triggers? No.
Below are 4 tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAA) on coping with pollen and other allergens that arrive with warmer weather:
You may think “I got this covered” when it comes to treating symptoms, but a recent study shows most allergy sufferers get more relief when treatment is directed by an allergist. Allergists are trained to help people identify exactly what they are allergic to and make recommendations for the best treatment plan, which could include medications or allergy shots.
Get ahead of symptoms
A fact many allergy sufferers may not be aware of is that if you start taking your allergy medications before the worst symptoms hit, your suffering will be greatly alleviated. It is ideal to start taking your allergy medications two to three weeks before your symptoms normally appear.
Most effective – and natural – treatment for allergies
Many people in search of “natural” allergy treatments don’t realize that immunotherapy – allergy shots – is actually the most natural treatment of all. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substances you’re allergic to.
The incremental increases of the allergens cause the immune system to become less sensitive, which reduces allergy symptoms significantly. Immunotherapy is also effective in treating allergic asthma. If you are interested in allergy shots, it is best to seek out a board-certified allergist for testing and discussion about this treatment option.
Easy is good
While you’re battling those terrible allergens, keep in mind that you can affect change at home:
- Monitor pollen and mold counts. Weather reports often include this information.
- Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
- Stay inside midday and during the afternoon, when pollen counts are highest.
- Take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing
- Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and
take appropriate medication beforehand.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists, please contact us at (719) 867-7800.