Pollen Is Becoming Impossible To Avoid
Allergies occur when the bodys internal radar system locks onto the wrong target, causing the immune system to overreact to an otherwise harmless substance.
This can cause mild annoyances like hives or itchy eyes, or life-threatening issues like anaphylaxis, where blood pressure plummets and airways start swelling shut.
About 8 percent of US adults suffer from hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, brought on by pollen allergies.Most cases can be treated with antihistamines, but they cost the US between $3.4 billion and $11.2 billion each year just in direct medical expenses, with a substantially higher toll from lost productivity. Complications like pollen-induced asthma attacks have also proven fatal in some instances and lead to more than 20,000 emergency room visits each year in the US.
Pollen is a fine powder produced as part of the sexualreproductive cycle of many varieties of plants, including elm trees, ryegrass, and ragweed.
Its released in response to environmental signals like temperature, precipitation, and sunlight. Grains of pollen range in size from 9 microns to 200 microns, so some types of pollen can travel deep into the lungs and cause irritation, even for people who dont have allergies. High concentrations of pollen in the air trigger allergic reactions and can spread for miles, even indoors if structures are not sealed.
Nyc Allergy Season: Outpowering Pollen
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The NYC allergy season is badder, longer and starting earlier.
Its starting earlier because its becoming warmer earlier in the season, triggering pollen eruptions as early as February, said Dr. Morris Nejat, medical director of the New York Allergy and Sinus Centers.
This years hay fever and respiratory allergy season is going to be bad and its going to be long he predicted.
Hordes of New Yorkers are already sneezing, itching their eyes, blowing their nose, and suffering sinus hell.
I started feeling it weeks ago in February, said Elvin Almonte, 37, an administrative assistant from Ridgewood Queens, who has been on a daily diet of Claritin since then.
NYC ranks 31st out of 100 major most challenging cities to live in for spring allergy sufferers according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which says that 1030% of adults and even more kids suffer from allergic rhinitis.
All those afflicted should ideally visit an allergist for testing in order to identify their specific allergens and received customized treatment. A series of allergy shots are usually the most powerful defense against symptoms, Nejat said, but, he allowed, there are things all sufferers can do to alleviate symptoms as we head into The Season of the Itch.
Nasal irrigation are pollen purgers with no side effects.
Your Allergies Are Not My Allergies
But according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, simply looking at those pollen counts doesn’t tell the entire story for individuals.
Most of us with allergies struggle with grass pollen, which isn’t usually an issue until later in the season. In the spring months, those high pollen counts are driven by tree pollen. When looking at pollen counts, it is important to note the type of pollen. Although the allergy season may begin earlier and end later in the season, it doesn’t mean that all of us will experience allergy symptoms for longer.
Those with allergies to tree pollen are the ones dealing with an earlier start to the season of sniffling and sneezing.
On the flip side, grass pollens may last longer into fall, so if grass pollen is your nemesis, you’ll feel that more on the tail end of the allergy season.
Here’s the wild card in all of this: with a changing climate, new plant species that didn’t exist here 20 or 30 years ago can move in and thrive. This means new kinds of pollens and potentially new allergies for some. There’s always something to keep you on your toes!
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Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers
If you sneeze and cough during certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. However, occasional allergies arent something you just have to live with.
In many areas of the United States, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Tree pollination begins earliest in the year followed by grass pollination later in the spring and summer and ragweed in the late summer and fall. In tropical climates, however, grass may pollinate throughout a good portion of the year. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.
The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in early to mid-September.
Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:
- Burning bush
- Sagebrush and mugwort
- Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:
Find expert care with an Allergist.
An allergist can pinpoint the cause and help you find relief.
Begin Allergy Treatment Now
Its essential to begin allergy treatment before allergy season begins. We recommend starting allergy immunotherapy now to ease symptoms during allergy season. While it usually takes at least six months to start feeling better from allergy immunotherapy, some patients recorded improvement sooner. Along with your daily allergy medications, allergy immunotherapy can help you feel better faster. For more information about this allergy treatment, contact NY Allergy & Sinus Centers today. You can beat allergy season this year!
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What Can I Do If My Allergy Meds Aren’t Workingor My Allergies Are Getting Worse
If you’re already taking OTC allergy meds , allergy shots, a.k.a. allergen immunotherapy, make your immune system less reactive to allergens , and for some people, they can even induce a cure, says Dr. Parikh.
By giving small increasing doses of what you are allergic to, you train the immune system to slowly stop being as allergic, she says. This is the best way to address allergies, as it targets the underlying problem and builds your immunity to a specific allergen.
The downside? Allergy shots are a bit of a time commitment. You’ll need to get them once a week for six to eight months, then once a month for a minimum of two years, says Dr. Parikh. You need to be a little bit patient, too, because it can take about six months to start feeling better . But a life without allergies? Sounds worth it to me.
Find Out What’s Happening In Tarrytown
According Pollen.com, the allergy report for Long Island up to the mid-Hudson Valley for Monday is medium-high, with the top allergens being maple, elm and juniper. Sunday was just a little bit better, but still in the medium-high range. Tuesday is forecast to be in the medium range.
“From the Gulf Coast through Kentucky and southern Virginia, grass pollen levels will climb to very high levels in April and May thanks to warm air and ample moisture,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert said in the report.
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Allergy Season : Why Your Symptoms Are Worse Than Ever
Many people with seasonal allergies are struggling right now, trapped in a vicious cycle of coughing, sneezing, wheezing and itching.
If this sounds like you, you might be wondering whats going on. Is this allergy season particularly brutal, or do your symptoms just seem worse because you were inside and not exposed to many allergens in spring 2020? Or is it all in your head?
According to allergists, its not just you. Its true your allergies may feel worse this year. Heres the deal and how to find some relief:
Climate Change And The Pandemic Are Playing A Huge Role
Year over year, were finding climate change is a major factor in worsening symptoms for spring and fall pollen seasons, said Kenneth Mendez, the CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The rising temps and increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are making pollen seasons heavier and longer. Allergy season is now 10 days longer than it was in 1990, and trees, grass and weeds are producing 21% more pollen. More pollen means more runny noses, watery eyes and itchy throats.
Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in pollen counts on a yearly basis, and this is due to global warming and an increase in CO2, which we know plays a role in higher pollen counts, said Payel Gupta, an allergist and immunologist and medical director of the at-home allergy clinic Cleared.
The recent warm weather were seeing this year and in the past few years is to blame. Plants bloom in warm weather, then tree, grass and weed pollen pick up and fly into the air around us.
In the past, warm weather didnt appear until April or so, delaying pollen-producing plants from blooming. But its been getting warmer earlier year after year. Some areas in the Northeast saw 70-degree days as early as January this year. On top of that, the first freeze we typically see each fall is happening later in the year. Mendez said this keeps flowering pants like ragweed a major source of allergies alive and well.
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What Are The Worst Months For Pollen
This is something of a subjective question. For one thing, not everyone is allergic to the same types of pollen, so different months along the pollen season spectrum might affect them differently. In addition, those who have additional allergies such as animal dander or dust might have a harder time than those with only hay fever.
How Can I Treat Pollen Allergies
There are several ways to treat pollen allergies. Allergy shots can help build resistance to pollens. Tablets can also be used but must be taken 12 weeks before the symptoms begin to reduce symptoms.
There are many different types of pollen that can add to a high pollen count overall. Even if there is a high pollen count, it does not automatically mean you are allergic to a specific pollen.
Tree Pollen Season Arrives In Western New York
BUFFALO, N.Y. Even though Western New York’s growing season doesn’t typically begin until April, this mild and dry stretch throughout mid-March has helped kickstart the pollen season for the region.
Tree pollen is what dominates the early pollen season. But if you’re sensitive to those allergens, especially Maple, Elm or Juniper pollen, then you may begin to feel it over the next few days.
A spike in tree pollen, or the onset of pollen season, typically coincides with a stretch where temperatures are well above freezing. On March 8, high temperatures reached over 50 degrees. And while a few chilly mornings followed with temperatures below freezing, there was a steady trend with afternoon high temperatures remaining above freezing since.
In addition, The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology notes that a particularly rainy forecast period or spring can lead to rapid plant growth early on and extend the allergy season into the fall. In the recent spring outlooks released last week, Western New York was highlighted as potentially experiencing a spring with above-average temperatures and precipitation from April through June.
As for the growing season, that usually begins when there are no longer morning low temperatures at or below freezing in the forecast, which, for this region, doesn’t usually happen until mid-April.
You can check local pollen impacts and the pollen forecast here.
When Does Allergy Season 2021 Start
Well, its technically *always* allergy season due to year-round offenders such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander, says Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But some allergenspollens, specificallyare seasonal.
Tree pollen, for example, pops up in the spring , grass pollen arrives in the late spring , weed pollen is most prevalent in the summer , and ragweed pollen takes over from summer to fall , says Dr. Parikh.
And, as mentioned, climate change means allergy season begins earlier and lasts longer, adds Corinne Keet, MD, PhD, a professor and allergist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Specifically, the season has been arriving 20 days earlier than it did in 1990, and contains at least 20 percent more pollen, the New York Times reported.
To get super-specific, Pollen.com has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in different areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth info on specific allergens, helping you decide if you should stay indoors that day. You should also note that windy, warm, and sunny days can increase levels of pollen turnout, while drizzling or rainy weather is actually associated with no or lower levels of seasonal pollen, explains Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York.
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How Long Does Pollen Season Last
As winter melts away into spring, the days become longer and sunnier. Trees, plants, and shrubs that have spent all winter bereft of leaves are using the newfound head and stored energy to grow and change. It is around this time in the Northern Hemisphere, around March or April, to be precise, that the pollen season officially starts. In most temperate areas, this season lasts up to seven months.
According to the Cleveland Clinic and the expertise of allergist-immunologist David M. Lang, MD, pollen seasons come in different stages. For instance, tree pollen generally begins in March or April, while grass pollen arises in the middle of May, and ragweed shows up from August on.
Tracking Pollen Throughout The Year
Pollen levels are the concentration of pollen in the air, based on your location within the nation. Checking the pollen levels in your area is a helpful tool if you suffer from allergies or hay fever. Pollen levels vary by location and are directly affected by weather conditions.
If you are an allergy sufferer, you can use the pollen count to help manage your allergies. Checking daily pollen counts before making outdoor plans can help you avoid an allergy attack. If you are seeking allergy or asthma treatment, contact the top allergy and asthma specialist in New York, Dr. Shukla.
In general, spring and summer are when pollen count is highest. This is when plants, grasses, and trees are flowering, particularly in the early mornings.
Warm, dry, and windy weather and climates with little or no rain have high pollen levels. This is because the conditions allow for the pollen to spread easily through the air. Rain or cool weather dramatically drops allergy levels, because they cleanse the air or halt the spread of pollen.
However, you should note that many plants pollinate year-round, so you could experience allergy symptoms year-round.
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First Weed Pollen Counts Arrive In Western New York
BUFFALO, N.Y. While grass-born pollen continues to be the dominant pollen type this June, the first weed pollen counts have started popping up across Western New York.
As of Wednesday June 23,, grass pollen is the highest of any local pollen type in Buffalo. And though the count itself isn’t that high, a rating of 6 out of 12 according to pollen.com, it’s still enough to have an impact to those with seasonal allergies.
In addition, two weed-born pollen types have surfaced as the season begins to transition from mainly grass to weed pollen. Those are Dock and Plantain. So if you’ve noticed that your seasonal allergies have been affecting you recently, it’s likely because of the presence of weed pollen.
This happens around this time every summer. The pollen season can begin as early as late March/early April for Western New York with the spring bloom. The season starts off with tree pollen, then transitions to grass pollen in May and rounds out with weed pollen counts picking up in July. Though Ragweed isn’t prevalent in Western New York, the entire pollen season can last from mid-March to mid-late September locally.
Keep in mind everyone’s sensitivity to pollen, and allergens in general, is different and wide-ranging. It’s not only the pollen category but specific type that can trigger a reaction. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has resources and guidance for seasonal allergy suffers.
Mold Spores More Problems
Besides pollen, patients may also become sensitized to airborne mold spores.Molds are much more numerous in ambient air than pollens, Dr. Lang notes, and there are molds that are present in high amounts in damp, rainy conditions. More importantly, though, warmer weather can be a particularly bad time for mold.
There are molds that peak on days of maximum heat and humidity. So later in the summer, particularly from mid-July to early-September, is when the mold count gets very high, he says.
This can make a bad combination for many people who are allergic to both one or more pollens and molds. Thats a common pattern, Dr. Lang says, that people will have these symptoms year-round and have a peak of symptoms in the spring and summer.
Many of the patients Dr. Lang sees, he says, are polysensitized, or allergic to multiple allergens. Sometimes well see people with classic symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis that occur seasonally such as mid August through the frost, and we know its likely from ragweed.
But, more frequently, we see people with year-round symptoms and there are peaks in the warmer times of the year. But then we may find on skin testing theyre sensitized to pollens and molds, as well as dust mites and cat or dog dander.
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