Monday, April 6, 2015

Local Docs Warn of Worst Spring Allergy Season Ever

While some people are still seeing snow on the ground, many Americans are getting yet another weather wallop just in time for spring – a sudden explosion of pollen for what’s expected to be “the worst spring allergy season ever!”

Physicians at AFC/Doctors Express centers have been seeing seeing patients flock in for some allergy relief, even before spring began!

What makes an allergy season “the worst ever?"
  • Wet  and warm winters - heavy precipitation and unusually warm weather during the fall and winter increases pollen production
    • When plants are under stress, they make more flowers and less leaves = more pollen
    • This winter, we’ve had record breaking snow totals
    • This winter has been one of the warmest on record
      • December 2014 to January 2015 is the sixth warmest since 1895
      • This January was also the second warmest on record, globally
        (source: National Climactic Data Center)
  • Hot summers - hotter summer seasons can cause a stronger pollen season the following spring – especially grass and tree pollen
    • For some cities, last summer was the hottest on record!
  • the “Priming Effect” – when temperatures make big leaps, up or down, in small periods of time
    • The constantly changing temperatures cause your body to rev up the immune system which means down the road, people are more hyper-sensitive to the new pollen – this causes increased sensitivity and more suffering once the allergens are released.
Make Yourself Comfortable This Spring (source: Mayo Clinic):
Allergies are among the most common, but often overlooked, of diseases in the nation.  Other than medication, there are ways you can make yourself more comfortable this allergy season:
  • If you’ve been outside, take a shower before going to bed and change into fresh clothing so you don’t bring the pollen that may have clung to your skin, hair or clothes onto your sheets.
    • Also, wash your sheets often.
    • Close your windows (and opt for air conditioning) at night if the pollen count is high.
    • Avoid outdoor activity early in the morning when pollen levels are at their highest.
    • The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
    • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and use a portable HEPA filter in your bedroom.

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