When children return to school in August or September, they may pick up any number of illnesses from their classmates or their school building. Dusty classrooms and hallways can trigger allergies and you may see that the signs and symptoms begin to emerge a few weeks after school begins. Here is what you need to know about dust allergies.
When seasonal allergies bring on sneezing, coughing and nasal congestion you may be tempted to stay inside to avoid pollen and blooming flowers. However, that may not be the only thing that is aggravating your allergies. Did you know that the environment indoors may actually be worse for your allergies than the environment outside your door?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently stated that a growing body of scientific evidence indicates that “air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” That is troubling because according to the EPA, people in the United States spend “approximately 90 percent of their time indoors.”
All allergy medications are not created equal, especially when it comes to children. Children should only take children’s allergy medication, not a small dose of adult allergy medication – unless directed by a physician.
Children have different tolerances for medication doses and their systems are more sensitive to medication ingredients. As allergy season approaches, it’s important to know how to select over-the-counter (OTC) medications and how to safely and appropriately administer them.
In a word, yes, if they are close to you. Weather of all types can make allergies worse, and hurricanes are no exception. Wind, rain, and humidity can kick up pollen and keep them swirling through the air. When you consider the terrific winds and low barometric pressure that make up a hurricane, they certainly are a “perfect storm” that can trigger bad allergies.
Sudden changes in temperature and humidity can aggravate all sorts of allergies, as well. Even conditions that like to act like allergies, but actually are something completely different will raise their ugly head when the weather changes. Non-allergic rhinitis is just such a condition. It’s irritating and carries all the typical symptoms of runny nose, congestion and post nasal drip, however, it will test negative for specific allergies. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) provides a simple guide to understand the difference between the two:
This spring, on the eastern coast of the United States, we have not witnessed tree pollen spikes as we have in prior years. This is not to say that those suffering from tree pollen allergies will not be or were not affected this year. They most likely will. However, due to unpredicted weather changes, tree pollen spikes did not rise to anticipated levels.
It has to do with unseasonably cold temperatures.
We’ve had cold spells this spring that have basically divided what is typically a harsh tree pollen season into two, less extreme sub-seasons.
In March, we experienced temperatures in the 80’s which caused cherry blossoms to bloom earlier than expected and tree pollen counts to spike to 2-3x beyond their daily averages. It appeared that we were in for a long pollen season.
Spring is here and allergies are in full bllom. Do you feel like as soon as the trees begin to come alive again that your allergy symptoms come alive, as well?
From itchy, watery eyes to a runny nose, allergy sufferers know just how frustrating this time of year can be. However, if you step back and look at your allergy symptoms, ask yourself if they are around more often than just during spring time? More than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers are actually plagued by these symptoms all year round.
Seasonal and year-round allergies are extremely common. Hang around with an ENT and you’ll be convinced everyone has them. Many seasonal allergy sufferers put up with untreated or partially treated symptoms for a few weeks of the year. Many year-round sufferers do the same, convinced that “nothing really helps.” What a shame!
Nasal allergies are very treatable, often with a combination of pills, intranasal sprays, saline irrigation, and sometimes even allergy shots. But there are also conditions that mimic allergies that you should look out for, either because they require a different treatment or because they can be dangerous. Your Ear, Nose and Throat doctor can help you figure out if any of these conditions exist:
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