Allergies Trigger Agony Across the U.S.

The United States has experienced unusual weather patterns this year from cold to warm to rain, and that is just in spring.  With this suddenly-changing weather, it is unsurprising that people in some parts of the country are inflicted with worse-than-usual allergies.

The areas where allergies have worsened include the Pacific Northwest, where very chilly winter is followed by a speedy spring warm-up.  This causes many plants to release their pollen at the same time.  Meanwhile, parts of the South have seen pollen levels peaking in mid-February, and then dropping down before coming up again in March.

Because allergens like pollen are released a month earlier than usual, people with allergies are being primed to have that same violent reaction with lesser amount of allergens. 

So how do you prepare yourself from pollen, grass, dust, and other allergens lurking around the corner?  Here are some helpful tips.

Keep track of the local pollen count

Aside from the weather, some areas also announce the pollen levels on a particular day.  You can check your local newspaper and check for your area’s pollen count.  You can also visit pollen.com, which also lists the day’s best and worst cities for pollen levels.  Simply input your ZIP code and see a 30-day history of pollen counts or a four-day allergy forecast.

Wear masks if needed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a surgical mask whenever you are outdoors facing the threat of allergens.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Take proper medication

Over-the-counter medicines like oral antihistamines and eye drops are great for people with mild allergies.  People with allergies on just about everything like pet dander and mold, you may need prescription antihistamines and nasal sprays.  However, if these do not help you calm your allergic reactions, or you do not know what triggers your allergies, it is best to consult an allergist.

Take allergy shots

You can fight allergies right at the source through immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots.  You are given tiny amounts of the allergen in escalating doses, usually once a week, until you have reached the maintenance phase, wherein you only need one shot a month.  You may feel its full effect after three to four years, but some people experience relief after a couple of months after beginning allergy shots.