Newswise — After a seemingly never-ending winter, temperatures have finally warmed and spring is in the air — literally. In fact, people with spring allergies are most likely already experiencing sneezing, watery eyes and fatigue because of tree pollen.
“Our area of the country typically experiences high tree pollen levels from March through May,” says Marjorie Slankard, M.D., Director of Allergy and Immunology at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ. “This year’s colder weather may have delayed the process a bit, but now that the warmer weather has hit pollen levels are expected to shoot up.”
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), more than 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, and this is expected to be one of the worst seasons we have seen for tree pollen.
But there are ways to help control your allergy symptoms and reduce your suffering. Here are some tips from the Dr. Slankard and the ACAAI to help keep seasonal allergy symptoms under control:• Know your triggers. Make sure you know what is causing your symptoms – it may turn out that pollen is not the culprit. Speak to your primary care doctor, who may recommend you see an allergist who can identify the source of your symptoms.• Treat before you sneeze. Don’t wait for allergy symptoms to hit before you take your medication. Allergists recommend you begin taking your over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication one week before symptoms typically hit, or as soon as the pollen counts are measureable.• Monitor pollen and mold counts —many media sources report this information during allergy seasons. • Keep indoor air clean. Use air conditioning and keep windows and doors shut at home, and in your car during allergy season. • Stay inside as much as you can from 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. when pollen counts are highest. • Take a shower, wash hair and change clothing after being outdoors working or playing. • If you can, delegate outdoor chores like mowing the lawn. If you can’t delegate the chores, consider wearing a mask to cut down on your exposure to outdoor allergens. An allergist can help you find the type of mask that works best. • When home and over-the-counter remedies aren't enough, see your doctor. For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is enough to ease symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, don't give up. A number of other treatments are available. For some people, allergy shots, called allergy immunotherapy, can be a good option. The treatment involves regular injections containing tiny amounts of the substances that cause your allergies. Over time, these injections reduce the immune system reaction that causes symptoms.
About The Valley HospitalThe Valley Hospital, a 451-bed, acute care, not-for-profit hospital located in Ridgewood, NJ, is part of Valley Health System, which also includes Valley Home Care and Valley Medical Group. Valley is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. These include 10 consecutive recognitions for service excellence by J.D. Power and Associates for inpatient care, six consecutive awards for patient safety and quality care from the Leapfrog Group, and Gold Seals of Approval from the Joint Commission in 12 clinical areas, including six for cancer care, more than any other hospital in the nation. Valley has also been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for joint replacement and orthopedic surgery. Valley has also been honored three times with “Magnet” designation – the nursing profession’s highest honor. Key services include cardiology, oncology, women’s and children’s services, emergency care, orthopedics, and neurosciences. For more information please visit www.ValleyHealth.com