WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The sun is finally shining, the temperatures are climbing, and the flowers are --- aaaaachoo! With all the perks of spring there is one major downside: Allergies.
For the more than 50 million American allergy sufferers, that means it's time to stock up on tissues and allergy medicine.
Unfortunately, this spring it's not just pollen that will have you sneezing. Dr. Jeffrey Sugar, an allergist in private practice in White Plains, said he's already seeing more intense mold-related allergy symptoms this spring, especially itchy, watery eyes.
"All the moisture in the top soil has created a nice environment for mold to thrive," he said.
The late onset of warm weather caused the different species of trees to pollinate at the same time rather than in a gradual sequence, explained the Pound Ridge resident, which increases the overlap between the tree and grass seasons. For patients allergic to both, this can be much more intense.”
He expects the peak to be in late May/early June when the tree pollen will converge with the grass pollen.
Folks with indoor allergies may also be suffering more due to the fact that we've all been inside longer this winter. Dust in the prime culprit.
There are, however, things you can do now to relieve the symptoms:
- Be prepared. Start over-the-counter and prescription preventative allergy medicines like Zrytec, Allegra, Claritin, Flonase and Nasocort early to reduce or even prevent allergy symptoms. Antihistiemanes can be started early but use when you start to have symtpoms.
- Break out your shades. Wear sunglasses outdoors to minimize the amount of pollen getting in your eyes
- Scrub up. Wash your pet off when he/she comes indoors and if you can, take a shower.
- See your doctor. Sugar recommends visiting your allergist if over-the-counter allergy medicines aren't relieving your symptoms, or if you have to take them on a prolonged basis for relief.
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