HEALTHY LIVING — Spring has sprung; it’s now Allergy Season

Published 12:06 am Thursday, March 2, 2023

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Spring is here and not a moment too soon! But, Ahhhhh Choo!!

Here we are, knee deep in pollen allergy season again, reports are this will be an intense one. Already, everything outdoors is covered in pollen.

As we sat at the breakfast table this morning wiping watery eyes and drippy noses, we reminisced about how allergy season used to be early spring and then again late August into September. This is no longer the case and allergy “season” now stretches year around.

Did you know that more than 50 million Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S?

There is no cure for allergies. You can manage allergies with prevention and treatment. More Americans than ever say they manage allergies. It is among the country’s most common, but overlooked, diseases.

Types of outdoor allergies include sinus swelling, seasonal and returning allergies, hay fever and nasal allergies. Many people with allergies often have more than one type of allergy. The most common outdoor allergy triggers are: tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores.

My husband and I were tested many years ago and both of us have pollen, mold and wood ash allergies. Mine are fairly easily controlled with over-the-counter meds.

Ed, however, has quite severe allergies that he was taking shots for until he had a heart attack 23 years ago and because of beta blockers, was no longer able to take the shots. He suffers terribly, we are used to it, I give him what few meds he can safely take and we just get through it.

You should speak with your physician and get advised as to what your best course of treatment is.

This is information just on outdoor allergies, indoor allergies are a whole different subject that will need its own column.

Common signs of outdoor allergies include sneezing, runny nose, dry and tickly cough, itchy or watery eyes, itchy ears and congestion.

Excess mucus draining into the stomach can also cause some digestive upsets.

If you have any of these, plus a fever, call your doctor. If you get allergies every year, watch for symptoms that are different from what you’ve had before.

There are some over the counter meds that should be started a week or two before pollen kicks in high gear to head off most symptoms.

Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever affects 5.2 million of the children population and 19.2 million of the adult population. When you see the allergy reports on the news, giving pollen counts of what is high, medium and low, pay attention to that and try to plan your outdoor time accordingly.

Severe allergies can make you can feel tightness in your chest and shortness of breath, especially if you have asthma, too. But these can also be serious symptoms of other health problems.

If you aren’t sure or if you haven’t been diagnosed with asthma, call your doctor right away. Be watchful, but don’t panic.

Stock up on the tissues and stay healthy my friends.

Jody Holton writes about health for Orange Newsmedia. She can be reached at