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'Off-the-Charts' Pollen Counts Bring Misery to Millions
Date:4/16/2010

David Rosenstreich, director of the division of allergy and immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. In addition, he said, "Pollen seasons are lengthening a little bit because of global warming."

Still, Rosenstreich said that counts will vary from year to year, and although they're particularly high right now, they may not stay that way for the whole allergy season.

One bit of good news for allergy sufferers is that the allergy season is "on fast-forward," he said. "It's all happening right now." Most of the tree pollens should start to decrease in the next couple of weeks.

Whatever the pollen count, Rosenstreich stressed that there's no need to suffer through allergy symptoms. "We have medicines that can help," he said.

If you're taking preventive medications for your allergies, Rosenstreich said that it's important to take them in advance and as directed by your doctor.

"Most allergy medicines work better to prevent allergic symptoms than to treat them when they're in progress," he explained.

Both Rosenstreich and Parker had other tips for those with allergies on high pollen count days:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible. But, be sure to keep your windows closed so the pollen doesn't get in. Parker said that if you must go out, it's best to avoid the morning hours because pollen is much worse then.
  • Keep your windows closed and run your air conditioner. It doesn't need to be set to cool, just to filter the air. Make sure the filters for your air condition are clean, however.
  • Use the air conditioning in your car to filter the air.
  • If you have to do yard work, Parker suggested wearing a mask to help cut down on the amount of pollen you'll breathe in.

And, finally, with a suggestion that's sure to make mothers across America happy, Parker said he'd recently heard that eating certain vegetables, such as broccoli, caulif
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