Navigation Links
Mild Winter Heralds Early Sneezin' Season
Date:2/23/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- That constant sneezing you thought was a winter cold might just be the beginning of your spring allergies instead.

Many areas of the United States have had warmer-than-average winter weather, which is causing trees to start pollinating earlier in some places, according to Dr. Stanley Fineman, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).

"What we're finding is the warmer weather is bringing earlier pollination of the trees. Here in Atlanta, we already have unusually high pollen counts for this time of the year, and people are starting to have symptoms already," he said.

Asked if the early start would also mean an early end to allergy season, Fineman said he didn't think so. "I think the spring allergy season will probably be longer. In the past few years, it's seemed to start earlier, but then seems to last as long as usual," he noted.

Another expert agreed. "If you have a warmer winter, it's likely that you'll have a longer and worse pollen season," said Dr. Punita Ponda, an attending physician in the pediatric allergy and immunology division at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park.

But, Ponda pointed out that it's not always a warmer winter that brings more pollen. Last year, it was a particularly wet winter in the New York area, with much greater than normal snowfall.

"Last year was a cold, cold winter with a lot of snow, and it was followed by a pretty impressive pollen season," she said, adding that the longer pollen seasons may actually have more to do with global warming than the year-to-year variations in weather. "So, it may be that next year we'll have a long spring pollen season, whether or not it was a warm winter," she said.

So, how can you tell if your runny nose is caused by a cold or allergies? The biggest clue is time, say the experts. If you have what you think is a cold that lasts longer a week, it may be allergies, according to the ACAAI. Also, allergies don't cause fevers and body aches, whereas a cold or flu can. If the discharge from your nose is clear, it's likely that an allergy is to blame from your misery, according to the ACAAI.

Both Fineman and Ponda said it's important to see an allergist to help identify your triggers through allergy testing. Once you know exactly what makes your allergies flare up, you can take steps to prevent them.

If tree pollen is an issue, Ponda says that she advises her patients -- or their parents -- to follow pollen counts in their area, and if the levels are moderate or high to start taking preventive measures, such as keeping the windows closed. She said it's especially important to take steps to avoid pollen between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when pollen counts are often at their highest.

Other things you can do are to stay inside during high pollen hours whenever possible, and if you have to go out, to use the recirculated air setting for your car's vents. When pollen levels are elevated, it's also a good idea to shower as soon as you come home or at least before bed to avoid spreading pollen in your home and bedroom.

In addition to these self-care steps, Fineman said that there are preventive medications that can often help keep allergies at bay. The first line in treatment is generally over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Allegra or Zyrtec or generic equivalents. For more severe allergies, he said that doctors will often prescribe nasal steroids or antihistamines.

And, for those with really intolerable allergies, Fineman said to consider allergy shots. "Allergy immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that develops a sustained tolerance. It's a more life-changing way of dealing with allergies," he said.

More information

Check out pollen counts near where you live at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's National Allergy Bureau.

SOURCES: Stanley Fineman, M.D., president, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, and allergist, Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, Atlanta; Punita Ponda, M.D., attending physician, division of pediatric allergy and immunology, Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. SNMs Conjoint Mid-Winter Meetings continue to advance molecular imaging
2. Exploring the limits: Understanding the challenges facing Winter Olympic champions
3. Three New Ways To Stay Warm This Winter
4. Hawaiian-shirt.net Offers 10 Tips To Beat The Winter Blues: Things You Can Do Right Now to Have a Better Day
5. Community Pharmacists Rise to Meet Winter Weather Challenges, Survey Finds
6. Killed by cold: Heart and stroke deaths peak in winter
7. Winter Runners Reap Physical, Mental Benefits: Expert
8. Winter Skies Still Pose Sun Danger, Experts Warn
9. Genes Influence Vitamin D Levels, But Only in Winter: Study
10. Carbon Monoxide May Be Greater Threat in Winter
11. Take Steps to Avoid Winters Indoor Allergies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Mild Winter Heralds Early Sneezin' Season
(Date:2/10/2016)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Water Brand. There were three leading bottled water brand owners that topped the list ... that enhance connectivity and optimize conversion. The premier brand was Tibet 5100, a top ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... Dr. Jessica Barron, of Barron Family Dental in Thornton, Colorado , ... in the North Metro Denver area. The new dental practice focuses on comfort where ... in the most relaxing environment. , While some dental visits can create anxiety for ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Intalere’s ... together more than 200 of the country’s top healthcare executives to share insights ... true benefit of the Forum is the provider-centric perspective, experience, expertise and strategy ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Gout is like no other joint ... is often severe, with intense swelling and redness. It is triggered by the crystallization ... older adults are the most susceptible, according to the February 2016 issue of Harvard ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Armune ... Apifiny® across their network of laboratory service centers across the country. Launched in ... aid clinicians in the detection of prostate cancer. Apifiny order volume exceeded 3,000 tests ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 ALSP, Inc. ... , MD as Consultant for Medical Affairs in preparation for ... Michael Pierschbacher , PhD, CEO, stated, "We are pleased ... We look forward to working with an individual of such ... We look forward to drawing deeply on his broad experience ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016 Intouch Solutions, a ... identified an industry-wide trend regarding the evolution of ... organizations to efficiently deliver compelling sales presentations via ... and another in 2015, Intouch uncovered that while ... devices and DSAs, many are not using them ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... HALLANDALE, Fla. , Feb. 9, 2016  Until ... sagging were surgery or liposuction. Thankfully, the FDA approved ... freezing them to death. Coolsculpting was originally approved in ... to the thighs and now the chin. With this ... Wellness Center can use a smaller applicator, the CoolMini, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: