MEDFORD, Ore. – If it feels like this allergy season is hitting harder and earlier every year, it’s probably because it is. Students from multiple allergist’s around the world have discovered that the increase in carbon dioxide and the changes in weather patterns are two of the main factors to blame.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAI) up to 25% of the worlds population has pollen sensitivities and the increase in carbon dioxide is making pollen more allergenic.
Not only that, but the change in weather patterns that we’ve seen in recent years, resulting in an increase in floods and droughts are resulting in longer pollen seasons.
What can you do about your allergy symptoms?
Dr. Vanvalkenburg, a Family Practice Physician and Director of Urgent Care at Providence Medford Medical Clinic Stewart Meadows, recommends you see an allergist if anti-histamines and other over-the-counter medications aren’t helping with symptoms.
An allergist can help you identify specific triggers that might be causing your symptoms, “An allergist can test you, both skin test or blood test, to see which allergens you are most susceptible to. An allergist can also give you some more advanced treatments," said Dr. Vanvalkenburg.
A few things that you can do to combat allergies on a daily basis are taking anti-histamine medications such as Benadryl, Zyrtec and Claritin. Dr. Vanvalkenburg recommends pairing oral medications with a nasal steroid to get the best result and most relief, "Take allergy medication regularly instead of just as needed or when your symptoms get really bad. If you can get on a program of taking anti-histamine and a nasal steroid every day during your bad allergy season then that can be helpful in preventing acute flare ups."
Some people may not even realize that they have allergies since you can develop allergies as you age or experience different allergies based on where you are located, “It also depends, again, on your environment and so if you have recently moved to the area then you may be exposed to new allergens that you weren’t exposed to before,” explained Dr. Vanvalkenburg.
If you feel like you have a chronic cold or if you’re on a lot of medication for re-occurring infections, it could be an immune issue and related to allergies that you don’t know you have.