Allergy Season Woes

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Stuart Schaenen

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Pollen makes allergy season miserable for many.

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Pollen makes allergy season miserable for many.

In New Jersey, spring is a time of rebirth and bloom after a long three months of cold and bitter winter. However, spring is also brings weeks of endless eye rubbing, coughing, and sneezing for allergy sufferers. Seasonal allergies are very common, affecting over 3 million people in the U.S. every year. These allergies are generally triggered by the release of pollen from trees, flowers, and weeds as well as mold spores in the air.


In particular, this year has seen one of the worst allergy seasons to date. I was surprised to find this year that I was actually suffering from allergies, as I never had in prior years. Dr. Sanjay Kamboj, an LSU allergist, stated that he has seen a 10-20% increase in patients coming in complaining of allergies. According to Dr.Nitin S. Damale, past president of the American College of Physicians, the pollen count in America has increased and the extension of allergy season can be attributed to climate change. Products of climate change such as, heat waves and air pollution can play a part in increasing allergies and other respiratory illnesses. The allergy season has now started in February and goes through November, a several month increase, from March/April-September/October.


Thankfully, there are medications and other ways to reduce the irritation of allergies. Dr.Kamboj recommends washing your face immediately after coming inside to remove any pollen on your face. In addition, the use of a saline nasal spray before bed and waking up will remove allergens from the nose. Antihistamine drugs such as, Benadryl, Claritin, and Vicks could help minimize allergy symptoms. If your allergies reach a serious point, you can get a skin test from your doctor to see what is causing your allergies and then receive a prescribed shot.


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