Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Is This Going To Be The Worst Pollen Season Ever?

"This is going to be the worst pollen season ever!"  "The pollen vortex is coming our way". 

You might be wondering what's going on. Is this just sensationalism in the news?  Or is there any truth to these claims?  If so, why are the seasons getting worse?  What actually makes for the worst pollen season ever?

What makes for the worst pollen season ever?

  • This spring it's been hot and cold.  The warm days we've had have been pleasant relief from this sticky winter, but trigger trees to start blooming and producing pollen
  • Low levels of pollen during these warm days "prime" our immune systems towards the pollen. 
  • When the pollen gets into full force in the spring, because our systems are primed, it takes less pollen to trigger a reaction

Are the allergy seasons getting worse? 

  • Warmer temperatures and shorter winter stretches are prolonging the pollinating seasons for plants.  
  • Plants are producing increased amounts of pollen.
  • Some believe that the increase in the warmer months is producing stronger pollen.
  • Longer exposure to pollens means that your allergy symptoms will be longer.
  • Increases in CO2 (carbon dioxide) causes plants to grow faster and more robust.  This may be an untold consequence of global warming on pollen.

So there may be some truth to the claim that it is going to be the worst pollen season ever.

Don't fear though, knowing what you're allergic to, early use of medications to prevent symptoms, and talking to your doctor or an allergist/immunologist can help you stay healthy and enjoy the spring.

Need more tips on how to battle your allergies?  Call the office 212-679-3574 or click here Schedule an Appointment  to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What's New to Treat Allergy?

The past few weeks have been very exciting for allergy treatments!

Several new medications are available to help patients with itchy watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and even hives!

Have Chronic Hives?
  • Recently, Xolair (omalizumab) was approved for the treatment of chronic hives. 
  •  Xolair is an injectable medication that binds to a protein (IgE) that triggers an allergic reaction in the body.  This medication is highly effective for hives and helps reduce symptoms in as little as a week. 
  • For the past decade we've been using Xolair in the treatment of asthma and it's relatively safe
  • The medication is given as a monthly injection and helps reduce steroid use.
  • Want more information?  Call the office and we can discuss in person
Are you Allergic to Grass and or Ragweed Pollen?
  • Great news for grass and/or ragweed pollen suffers- there is now a tablet you can take to help reduce symptoms associated with pollen allergy.
  • The grass (Grasteck) and ragweed (Ragwitek) tablets need to be started about 12 week before the season starts.
  • They are daily tablets you leave in your mouth for about 1 minute.
  • They help reduce symptoms by about 27% in studies.
  • These are great options if you don't want to do allergy shots, but have symptoms in the summer and fall.
Stay tuned, there's a lot happening in the world of allergy and we are here to help.

Want more information?  Call the office for an appointment- 212-679-3574 or click here to schedule online. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tips for conquering the pollen vortex coming our way....

Good news for New Yorkers- it seems spring is upon us!  Bad news is that these warm and then cold days are going to create a pollen vortex triggering severe allergy symptoms.  Tree & grass pollen along with mold spores will all bloom at once causing severe symptoms. 

Maybe you're already feeling the pull of these allergens?  Itchy watery eyes, dry cough, sneezing, mucous in your throat, and sinus pressure are some of the signs you're allergic.

Don't lose hope though, here are some easy tips to help you fight off your allergies and enjoy spring!
  • Pollen counts are earliest before 10 AM.  Keep your windows closed during this time, to help prevent pollen from entering your home.
  • Have Asthma?  Make sure you're inhalers aren't expired.  If you're needing your albuterol more than 2 x per week, go see your doctor. 
  • Wipe your dog off after walking with a wet washcloth.  This will help prevent outdoor allergens from entering your home.
  • Spending the day in the park?  Take medicine before you go and shower when you get home to wash the pollen off of you.
  • Playing softball with your company?  Make sure you have extra anti-histamines & asthma medication in your sports bag.
  • If your symptoms are severe, prescription medication may be necessary.
See an allergist/immunologist to know exactly what you're allergic too. They can provide specific  advice on a treatment plan and avoidance measures.

Call the office if you need specific advice- 212-679-3574.  We are here to help. 

Good luck and enjoy the spring!