Certain allergens come out during specific time of year, here are some tips to help you identify triggers that make you sniffle plus tips to help you manage your allergies around the world.
In a Saint Louis University Medical Center (SLU) announcement, James Temprano, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine, detailed tips by season to help you avoid triggers while in the United States:
Ragweed season typically begins around mid-August and plagues sufferers until the first frost offers relief.
Survival tip: Ragweed pollen counts are highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. on hot, dry, and windy days, so avoid outdoor activities during that time.
Because we spend more time indoors with windows shut in the winter, indoor allergies like dust and pet allergies can be worse during winter months.
Survival tip: Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.
Spring: If you're a spring allergy sufferer, tree pollen may be causing your symptoms. These allergies typically begin toward the end of February or early March and last through May.
Survival tip: Be sure to change your clothes and wash your hair after time outdoors.
Summer: Grass allergies tend to flare up in May or June, or even earlier, and continue most of summer. Survival tip: Keep windows shut to limit your exposure.
And, on August 17, Raymond Slavin, MD, professor of internal medicine at SLU detailed for Relaxnews the difference between allergens in Europe and the US, "In contrast to the U.S., Europe has no ragweed, though grass, tree and mold pollen are common in Europe."
"One big difference between the U.S. and Europe is that there are an unusual number of mono-sensitive people in Europe, (people who are allergic to only one thing, like grass). In the U.S., it is unusual to find a person who is allergic to just one thing. More often they have multiple sensitivities. There is no explanation for this difference, as of yet."
Also in places that have both wet and dry seasons, Slavin explained, "wet and dry seasons are most significant when it comes to mold, which can go up the day after a rain. On the other hand, rain is very effective in washing out the atmosphere, and the day after a rain, pollen counts go down. Drought, in extreme cases, can limit the tree and grass season, decreasing allergens."
Here are three Allergist-recommend approaches to managing allergic disease per Slavin:
- Environmental control: Keep windows closed and the air conditioning on in the summer to avoid heavy exposures of allergens like driving in a car with the windows open, raking leaves, and mowing the lawn to limit your symptoms.
- Symptomatic therapy: Medications can be extraordinarily effective. First and foremost are cortisone nasal sprays. There is also a very effective antihistamine nasal spray. Oral antihistamines and decongestants work as well, but are not as effective as nasal sprays.
- Immunotherapy: Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, work very very well on seasonal allergies. Doctors turn to immunotherapy only after the first two approaches prove ineffective as shots can be inconvenient and must be given in an allergist's office under careful supervision.
Slavin noted there is also "a technique known as SLIT (sublingual immunotherapy), which is a form of immunotherapy administered by drops under the tongue rather than shots. Not yet approved in the U.S., it is very commonly used in Europe."Reuse content