Allergies are an overreaction of a person’s immune system to an allergen, an otherwise harmless protein that has no effect on a non-allergic person. Common sources of inhaled allergens are tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mites, cockroaches, cats, dogs, birds, cows, horses, rabbits and rodents. The overreaction of the immune system that results from contact with one or more of these inhaled allergens may cause annoying symptoms like coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and scratchy throat. A person will often have allergies to more than one allergen.
Spring allergy season is fast approaching, and for some parts of the country, it started in February. Hard to imagine, with snow on the ground everywhere I look! However, I know my allergies will catch up with me soon enough.
If you have spring allergies, then trees are likely the culprit. You can get your local allergy outlook at sites like https://www.pollen.com/. You can view pollen counts, your current allergy season, and view a national allergy map.
Those of you who started sublingual immunotherapy prior to the spring allergy season should be less symptomatic than those of us who either waited too long to start therapy or haven’t been to our provider to get allergy tested/treatment.
It’s not too late to begin a sublingual immunotherapy program to treat the underlying cause of your allergies. Check with us to see if there’s a provider in your area that treats allergies with our allergy drops.
A February, 2017 allergy immunotherapy research study published in JAMA recommends that patients continue their subcutaneous (allergy shots) or sublingual (allergy drops) allergy treatment for at least 3 years for long term effectiveness.
Best take-away: we are halfway through winter but for many parts of the U.S., tree pollen allergy season is just a few weeks away.
Now that indoor heating season is here, little steps can help lighten your allergic load.
- For dust mite sensitive patients:
- Encase your mattress, box springs and pillows with mite-proof covers
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot water
- Use a good HEPA vacuum cleaner, standard vacuums tend to stir dust and allergens
- If possible, remove wall-to-wall carpeting from bedrooms
- Use room air purifiers
- For mold sensitive patients:
- Wear HEPA filter mask when entering an area of suspected mold growth like a damp basement or crawlspace
- Keep humidity low using air conditioners or dehumidifiers
- Use room air purifiers
- Ventilate bathrooms, and clean regularly
- Don’t forget about your car’s AC system, have it checked out if it has a musty odor
- For pet sensitive patients:
- Keep pets out of the bedroom and off of your upholstery
- Wash your hands after contact
- Eliminate carpets wherever possible
- Use HEPA filters in your heater, air conditioner and vacuum cleaners
For more information, request a copy of our dust and mold information sheets by visiting www.allamericanallergy.com
Sources: All-American Allergy Alternatives, LLC; National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (Getty images)