Archive for March, 2013

Stay Ahead of Seasonal Allergies

It seems a long time coming, but spring is in the air.  And where there’s spring, there will soon be tree pollen, grasses and mold.  Here are just a couple of tips that may keep you ahead of seasonal allergies, allergic rhinitis – commonly known as hay fever.

See an Allergist now – before symptoms become severe.

The affect of yo-yoing temperatures will cause a pollen rebound affect.  The cooler temperatures pushed back pollen counts, and things may be calm now, but after a few warm days and spring showers will cause tree pollen to pop and light up pollen counters across the city.

If you see an allergist ahead of time, he/she can provide you with several tools to keep symptoms in check, including non-drowsy alternatives to OTC medications.

Replace Air Filters, Keep Windows Closed, Use Vacuum with a Hepa Filter

Spring Cleaning can stir up dust and other allergens. While you are focusing on cleaning away the old you may be propelling dust mites back into your mainstream home environment. You can read more on Dust Allergy Avoidance here.

Fix Leaks and Dry Out Damp Areas

Warm and damp equals mold. People think trees, weeds, and grasses as seasonal allergens.  But mold loves warmer temperatures, too.  For more on Mold Allergy Avoidance click here.

Avoid Peak Allergy Times

Peak allergy times are usually sunrise to mid-morning, 5am-10am.  You may be best served to reschedule your early morning run to dusk. Also, keep in mind that hot, dry days entice trees and grasses to produce more pollen, less on cool, wet days.

If you still sneeze and wheeze just thinking back on last allergy season, see an allergist now. You can keep a step ahead of allergy symptoms and an allergist has the experience, tools, and expertise to keep you enjoying a long awaited spring.

If you live in the NYC area, I invite you to contact me for a consultation.  Give me a call at 866-632-5537 and together we can successfully manage your seasonal allergies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Allergy to Tree Pollen

Mid March begins the cycle of “Seasonal Allergies.”  Although allergy symptoms know no real season, the affects of pollen allergies begin to manifest with the first budding tree of spring.

But,  of the more than 50,000 known species of trees worldwide only pollen from about 65  species of tree have been shown to cause allergies. Sneezing, watery eyes, scratchy throats remind most people of this seasonal sensitivity.

  • Patients experience symptoms from an allergy to the pollen of a specific tree; one who is sensitive to oak may not necessarily be allergic to cedar. There are two families of trees that are an exception to this: the family that contains oaks, beeches and birches; and the family belonging to the cedars and junipers. One who is allergic to the pollen of one of these trees will likely experience symptoms from one or more members of the same family. Occasionally those with allergic reactions to tree pollens may also cross-react to certain raw fruits such as apples, plums and pears (though these foods may be less allergenic when cooked). Food cross-reactions usually result in itchiness in the mouth and throat.
  • You can try to avoid discomfort by remembering that tree pollen counts tend to be highest on warm, dry and breezy days, especially after a recent spate of precipitation or humid weather. You can try to remain indoors when pollen counts are at their highest, particularly the early morning, late afternoon and early evening. Because of the microscopic size of tree pollens, most inexpensive masks sold at drug stores do not prevent pollen from sneaking in around the edges.

A thorough exam performed by an allergist can help establish a successful treatment plan to return the beauty of spring to the allergy sufferer. OTC medications treat allergy symptoms, but may also induce drowsiness and continual use can lead to more damaging side effects.

If you find yourself dreading another allergy season – give me a call – 866-632-5537.  Together we can come up with a successful treatment plan that will give you back pleasant walks through the park and the pleasure of being out of doors.

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Adult Onset of Asthma

 

Can you develop asthma as an adult?

Yes.

First, asthma is common – about 15 million Americans suffer from it. 

Symptoms are:

  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • increased mucous production
  • difficulty breathing.

Asthma symptoms are caused by irritated, inflamed, obstructed airways, making breathing – the movement of air from the nose and mouth to the lungs difficult.

The development of asthma in adulthood is labelled as adult onset asthma.

About 50 percent of older adults who have asthma are allergic. That being said,  Adult Onset Asthma may or may not be triggered by allergies. If you had allergies as a child, but never experienced asthma symptoms, you may experience asthma as an adult. Or if you develop sensitivities to triggers in your environment or the food you eat -you may experience asthma symptoms.

Who gets Adult Onset Asthma?

The cause of asthma is still undetermined, recent studies show that heredity may play a role.

There are however several traits that may contribute to the development of adult onset asthma.

  • Women over age 20
  • Obesity
  • Allergies (People allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma)
  • Excessive exposure to irritants, cigarette smoke, mold, dust, perfumes
  • Illnesses, viruses or infection (Many adults first experience asthma symptoms after the flu or a cold)

Asthma can be successfully controlled. If you have the symptoms described here – get evaluated. Live in the NYC area – feel free to call my office for a consultation.

 

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