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CBS 21 News Article – March 2014

 

It's time to prepare for allergy season

Reported by: Christina Butler

 

Spring has finally arrived, and that is sure to make many people happy. But for allergy sufferers, it's not all good news.

 

"What will likely happen with a bad winter is everything will start a little bit later, but because it's starting a little bit later things are going to be blooming at the same time. So it may just be a little more intense for some people," explains Dr. Amy Auerbach with Allergy and Asthma Consultants in York County. She also explains that anyone can get allergies, even if they have never had them before. "I've treated 60 year olds who are just getting them," she says. Maple trees are already registering pollen levels, and other trees are expected to begin showing up in the next few weeks as well. "It's a little strange because it is still snowing and we have trees pollinating, but that's the way it works. And were going to see more in the next week, and through April and May there's going to be a lot of tree pollen around," says Dr. Auerbach.

 

If you think you may have allergies but have never been tested, a simple skin test can provide some answers. "If you do have allergies it makes sense to get it checked out because there are so many possibilities. A lot of people come and they're like oh yeah for years I've been miserable all spring. It doesn't have to be like that, there are tons of possibilities. It's worth making sure you get it checked out," Dr. Auerbach recommends. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/allergies

Bad time of year for allergy sufferers

Tree pollens are a problem now, but grass pollens will add to the misery in a few weeks

By Teresa McMinn

For the Daily Record/Sunday News – May 2, 2014

Now that oak and maple trees are in bloom, Nancy Tileston can feel a difference in her health.

And it's not pleasant.

She suffers from allergies to the trees, which lately have been dropping pollen at a rapid rate, making many other allergy sufferers miserable.

"Right now is bad," she said.

Tileston, of York Township, was at Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Spring Garden Township recently to get her allergy shot. She's about two years into a five-year treatment program.

The immunotherapy process gradually introduces known allergens into a patient's body, which spurs their immune system to become more tolerant. The goal is for the patient to eventually be allergy-free.

While Tileston also uses allergy medications, she said the shots reduce her symptoms.

"Before I started (immunotherapy), I did not even go out in the spring," she said.

Immunotherapy typically offers a lot of relief for allergy sufferers, said Ann De Bien, nurse

practitioner at Asthma & Allergy.

Recently, she worked at the company's Hanover office where she saw patients with a variety of symptoms, including itchy eyes, coughing and sneezing.

In addition to allergy shots and medication, folks can take other measures to reduce exposure to pollen such as showering after spending time outside.

"Include the hair when you shower," she said. "You need to get that pollen out."

That's especially important for kids who suffer from seasonal allergies, De Bien said. "We're seeing so many (young) baseball players that are having a difficult time."

While some hoped the harsh winter would kill off some of the pollen this spring, cold temperatures probably just postponed the bloom time for trees, De Bien said. "It didn't do anything to the pollen, just delayed it."


Recent rain, wind and warm temperatures likely played more of a role in producing and spreading pollen.

"I think the spring has more to do with it than the winter," she said.

Tree pollen counts should start to taper off in a few weeks. But then it's time for grass pollen.

"For a while there can be both," De Bien said. "By June we're in full swing for grasses."

And that combination will make for a miserable allergy season, said Randy Adkins, meteorologist for AccuWeather.com.

"We're going to be hit hard with many different pollens all at the same time," said Adkins, also an allergy sufferer. "May into June is likely to be fairly brutal as far as allergies."

Pollen protection

Tips to reduce exposure to pollen:

Keep windows closed

Shower and wash hair after spending time outdoors

Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter in the bedroom at night

Don't hang laundry outside to dry

Cleanse the inside of the nose with a saline nasal spray

Use a 24-hour over-the-counter antihistamine